Singapore sends more than 120,000 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to Batam, Riau Islands
SINGAPORE: Singapore has contributed a total of 122,400 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to Batam and the Riau Islands in Indonesia.
The shipment was handed over to Indonesia's ambassador to Singapore Suryo Pratomo at Jurong Port on Tuesday (Sep 28). It is expected to arrive in Batam on Wednesday.
"This contribution of AstraZeneca vaccine doses, which Singapore had procured under the COVAX initiative, is part of Singapore’s efforts to support the regional and global fight against COVID-19," said Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in a press statement.
At the handover ceremony, Second Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Mohamad Maliki Osman said that the contribution to Indonesia "bears testament to the longstanding close cooperation between Singapore and Indonesia".
He noted that the Riau Islands is one of Singapore’s closest neighbours and partners, and many Singaporeans are familiar with Batam.
"It is critical that we continue to work together so that we can emerge from the unprecedented challenges brought about by COVID-19," said Dr Maliki who is also Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office.
Both countries have demonstrated commitment to supporting each other in times of need, said Dr Maliki, citing the Oxygen Shuttle programme, where Singapore sent more than 500 tonnes of liquid oxygen to Indonesia.
Indonesia also facilitated the shipment of essential items for Singapore's community care facilities earlier in the pandemic, he said.
"Both Singapore and Indonesia have also taken steps to ensure the safety and well-being of our people and the region by vaccinating our populations," he added.
"We hope that Singapore’s contribution of vaccines to Indonesia, which we had procured under the COVAX initiative, will support these efforts and the region’s progress towards COVID resilience."
Last month, Singapore also announced that it will send 500,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to Australia as part of a "dose sharing" agreement, with the same amount to be returned in December.