European Union vaccination programme progressing; 150 million Moderna vaccines ordered

Elias Hubbard
February 18, 2021

A number of agreements were signed to this effect by the Government of the Sultanate and worldwide Covid-19 vaccine producing firms and Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI).

On Wednesday (Feb 17), a Singapore Airlines (SIA) freighter arrived at Changi Airport at about 1:40 pm after a transit stop in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

"These shipments will enable us to progressively roll out our vaccination programme, with vaccination for seniors in the community set to begin later next week", said Mr Wong in a Facebook post.

He confirmed that more shipments of the two vaccines would arrive over the coming months.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also posted on Facebook to confirm that the country's vaccination programme is "proceeding smoothly".

"Until then, do continue to follow safety regulations, wear masks, and remember safe distancing", he added.

The Ministry also pointed out that 27 cases were hospitalised over the past 24 hours, adding that the total number of current hospitalized Covid-19-infected patients stands at 147, of them 46 are in intensive care units (ICU).

Last month, Pfizer said it was temporarily reducing deliveries to Europe and Canada while it upgraded production capacity at its plant in Belgium. It has also ferried the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine to Indonesia.

Ireland, as part of an European Union deal, is in line for roughly 2.2 million doses of the vaccine pending approval.

According to the European Commission, it means the EU will have access to up to 2.6 billion doses of vaccines from seven different suppliers - BioNTech/Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Sanofi-GSK, Janssen Pharmaceutica NV (Johnson & Johnson), Curevac and Moderna.

Both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines use mRNA technology, which involves injecting snippets of the virus' genetic material into the body to stimulate an immune response.

There are widespread reports of people suffering side effects including fever and headaches from the vaccine, although health authorities say they are not unsafe.

"How come they even vaccinated hospital gardeners with more efficient vaccines while us doctors, who risk infection every day or risk infecting others, get offered something less efficient?" asked one Italian doctor quoted in La Stampa.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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