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Singapore Airlines staff offered COVID-19 vaccinations

Those who are eligible for the vaccine include cabin crew, pilots, airport-based staff whose job requires them to interact with passengers, and selected engineering staff.

January 12, 2021 / 08:21 PM IST

Singapore Airlines said on Tuesday some of its Singapore-based staff have been offered COVID-19 vaccinations by the government.

Those who are eligible for the vaccine include cabin crew, pilots, airport-based staff whose job requires them to interact with passengers, and selected engineering staff.

Singapore has only approved Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine but has said it has secured enough doses for its 5.7 million population, including from other vaccine-makers like Moderna and Sinovac.

The city-state is currently rolling out the vaccine among healthcare workers, with the elderly to follow next month. Vaccines will be available to all residents by year-end at the latest.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong received his first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine last week.

"Participation is voluntary, and the SIA group strongly encourages all eligible staff to take up this offer," Singapore Airlines said.

Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.
Reuters
first published: Jan 12, 2021 08:15 pm

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