M’sians among over 6,000 individuals completed full COVID-19 vaccination regimen in S’pore


SINGAPORE – A number of Malaysians working in Singapore are among over 6,000 individuals who have received the second jab of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine here, thus completing the full vaccination regimen.

“Alhamdulillah and I feel relieved,” Imra Astata Ibrahim (picture) told Bernama when met recently after receiving his second vaccine injection at a polyclinic in Pioneer near here.

He and another Malaysian working in the marine sector, one of the sectors given priority for vaccination in the republic, received their first injection in stages since early January.

Imra Astata, 40, who accepted the offer from his employer without hesitation, expressed his gratitude for not having to wait long to receive the vaccine.

“Now, I am more prepared to carry out my daily tasks that requires me to be at the frontline,” said Johor-born Imra Astata.

Imra Astata only returned to the republic on Sept 24, 2020 after strict measures at the borders were introduced in March last year to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Hopefully this vaccine is effective and I do hope the situation will be back to normal,” said the father of three who has high hopes that by getting vaccinated, it will be easier for him to travel back and forth to Johor as before.

According to the republic’s Ministry of Health, as at Feb 2, more than 175,000 individuals have received the first dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine here and about 6,000 of them completed the full vaccination regimen.

In two weeks’ time, the ministry said they will be adequately protected against COVID-19.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is the first COVID-19 vaccine used in Singapore with the first delivery arriving on Dec 21 and the vaccination program started on Dec 30.

As an advice to those who are still skeptical of the COVID-19 vaccination, Imra Astata said: “Certainly every government will run a clinical trial. Do not worry about the side effects too as they are very minimal.”

“To those who have yet to take it… please do take it when the opportunity arises,” said Imra Astata while refuting the claims that the initial recipient of the injection was seen as a ‘laboratory rat’.

He also shared that he only experienced a slight numb and pain at the injection area in the first three days after the first injection and returned to normal to receive the second injection after 21 days.

“The injection is not painful .. it is like taking a BCG (Bacille Calmette-Guerin) vaccine injection during school days,” he said before leaving on his motorbike to return to work.

Although it is voluntarily, Singapore has made provision for all Singaporeans and long-term residents in Singapore to get vaccinated by end-2021, and it will be free.

Singapore on Feb 3 has granted an interim authorisation for the second COVID-19 vaccine, Moderna, to be used in Singapore and is expected to arrive in March 2021.