Singapore first Southeast Asian nation to vaccinate half its population - Free Malaysia Today

Visitors walk around Merlion Park in Singapore in May. (AP pic)

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s government said more than half its population has received at least one Covid-19 vaccine shot, the first Southeast Asian nation to cross this milestone in the battle against the pandemic.

“Most happy this morning when I received an update that slightly more than 50% of our population have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine,” the city-state’s Health Minister Ong Ye Kung posted on his Facebook page today. About 36% have received two doses, he said.

The update is some respite for the island nation after the government scaled back its reopening plans amid dozens of new cases over the last week, even as some countries with similarly high rates of vaccination allow a resumption of social activities and freer travel.

The government preliminarily reported 14 new cases in the community today.

Singapore’s portion of population with at least one jab is double that of its rival financial hub Hong Kong, where the figure is 25%, according to Bloomberg-compiled data. Hong Kong’s portion of people who are fully vaccinated is nearly 17%.

Singapore will be able to keep most businesses open, but a resumption in travel, and keeping food and beverage outlets and gyms operating would require the vaccination rate to go higher, Ong said.

“We are vaccinating as fast as we can but we are constrained by supplies, due to the high global demand,” he said in the Facebook post.