It was only a few months ago that a 91-year old grandmother from the UK became the first person in the world to receive a Covid-19 jab as part of a mass vaccination programme.
Since then, the vaccine has reached our shores and 73% of our elderly have since had at least one jab or booked a slot to get it according to PM Lee.
In his speech to the nation on May 31, PM Lee encouraged senior citizens aged 60 and above to get the COVID-19 vaccine. “Please come forward to get jabbed as soon as possible. Most people of your age have already been vaccinated, including many of your friends and neighbours. The President and I have been vaccinated too, and so have all my Cabinet colleagues. The vaccines are safe, and they will keep you safe.”
There is no doubt that we will live in the shadows of COVID-19 in the years to come as it becomes endemic. And, while this means we may see outbreaks intermittently, it is part of a new normal that we will have to learn to live with. Just like the common flu, testing and vaccinations for COVID-19 will become part of our lives.
At the time Margaret Keenan staked claim to being the first person ever to receive the COVID-19 vaccine she offered a ray of hope and positivity to other elderly like her saying, "It's the best early birthday present I could wish for because it means I can finally look forward to spending time with my family and friends in the new year, after being on my own for most of the year.
"My advice to anyone offered the vaccine is to take it. If I can have it at 90, then you can have it too," she added.
All of us in Singapore and around the world have lived with COVID-19 for more than a year now, and in that time, the spirit of humankind has shone through and shown us that putting others before self is necessary to overcome this pandemic. After all, we have a collective responsibility to one another.
Echoing the words of PM Lee, “Let us go the distance together as one people, so that we can look forward to a new normal, and emerge as a stronger and more united Singapore.”
Covid-19 vaccine: First person receives Pfizer jab in UK.https://www.bbc.com/
Transcript of speech by PM Lee Hsien Loong on the COVID-19 'New Normal', on 31 May 2021.https://www.pmo.gov.sg/
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of St. John's Home for Elderly Persons.
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