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DPM Heng gets first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, says Pfizer-BionTech shot safe for former stroke patients

DPM Heng gets first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, says Pfizer-BionTech shot safe for former stroke patients

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said his vaccination was "painless and done in less than 10 seconds". (Photo: MCI/L H Goh)

SINGAPORE: Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat received his first dose of the Pfizer-BionTech vaccine on Wednesday (Jan 20). 

In a Facebook post, the 59-year-old said that before the procedure, he first sat for a consultation with Dr Shawn Vasoo, clinical director at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID).

"Prior to getting the vaccination, I sat down with Dr Shawn Vasoo to run through the medical questionnaire.

READ: Go only to trusted sources for vaccine information, says head of COVID-19 vaccination committee

"The vaccine is safe and effective, even for former stroke patients like myself," said Mr Heng, who is also Singapore's Minister for Finance and a Member of Parliament for the East Coast GRC.

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat (centre) with NCID clinical director Dr Shawn Vasoo (left) and nurse manager Imrana Banu. (Photo: MCI/L H Goh)

Mr Heng collapsed during a Cabinet meeting in 2016 and was admitted to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where he was found to have suffered a stroke due to an aneurysm.

"During my East Coast Conversation with residents about Phase 3 on Sunday, vaccination was understandably the top discussion topic," Mr Heng said.

READ: 37,000 frontline aviation, maritime workers to be prioritised for COVID-19 vaccine

"We are progressively rolling out our national vaccination strategy in the coming weeks and months. 

"I strongly encourage you to take it up when it becomes available to you. This will not only protect you, but also your loved ones and our community."

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat meeting with NCID researchers after his vaccination on Jan 20, 2021. (Photo: MCI/L H Goh)

Singapore began its COVID-19 vaccination drive in December. Senior staff nurse Sarah Lim was the first to receive her vaccine, followed by 39 other healthcare workers at NCID. 

Since then, this phase of the vaccination drive has seen shots being given to frontline healthcare workers including those in the Home Team, as well as frontline aviation and maritime workers.

READ: Get vaccinated for COVID-19 when you can, instead of waiting for specific brand, says Lawrence Wong

The Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination has also recommended that about 5 per cent of the available vaccine stock at any given point in time be set aside for those who are "of critical importance to the functioning of Singapore", so as to ensure that the country's water, utilities and other nationally essential services are not disrupted.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, as well as COVID-19 task force co-chairs Gan Kim Yong and Lawrence Wong, have all received their first doses. 

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Source: CNA/hs

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