Singapore has approved the Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech and expects the first vaccinations to be delivered by the end of December.
Singapore is the first Asian country to approve the vaccine, according to Reuters. The free vaccines will be given initially to healthcare workers and the elderly.
The news agency quoted Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on a national broadcast as saying, “My colleagues and I, including the elderly, will be vaccinated early.
“This is to show you, especially seniors like me, that we believe the vaccines are safe.”
Pfizer and BioNTech have also announced additional data from the Phase I / II study of their BNT162b2 Covid-19 vaccine, conducted in Germany.
The data indicated that the vaccine elicited a combined adaptive humoral and cellular immune response against SARS-CoV-2, providing insight into the composite nature of BNT162b2-induced T cell immunity.
BNT162b2 is approved for emergencies for people aged 16 and over.
BioNTech CEO and Co-Founder Ugur Sahin said, “In parallel with working with regulatory agencies around the world to make our vaccine available, we will continue to share key data from our ongoing studies with the global scientific community and the public in order to Advance our advances to gain collective understanding of the vaccine’s underlying mechanism of action.
“While there is broad consensus that vaccines should elicit antibody responses to the virus, experience from the previous SARS pandemic shows that CD8 + T-cell responses can be critical to achieving long-term protection.”
Earlier this week, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the emergency use of Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine.
In a separate development, Moderna has entered into an agreement with the Singapore Ministry of Health to supply its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273, to provide a safe and effective vaccine.