Covid vaccines: Indian-born doctor awarded Lee Kuan Yew scholarship for gaining early access to Covid vaccines

A 26-year-old Indian-born doctor who played an important role during the coronavirus pandemic in ensuring rapid access to vaccines and treatment for Singapore, is among three recipients of the Lee Kuan Yew No-Bail Fellowship given to outstanding Singaporeans to help them pursue higher education.

Dr M Premikha will receive a stipend of SGD 50,000 for up to two years through the scholarship as she is from the private sector and will travel later this month to Johns Hopkins University in the United States to start a one-year master’s program in public health, the Straits Times reported on Thursday.

Among Dr Premikha’s responsibilities was negotiating Advance Purchase Agreements with different vaccine manufacturers when she was at the Ministry of Health (MOH) from July 2021 to January this year.

Noting that the team had to take into account several uncertainties in the agreements, Dr Premikha said: “It was so difficult to determine the demand because when I was negotiating, we did not even know if it was necessary to make a callback. vaccination. We were like, “What if we don’t need the boosters? What do we do with the stocks? Or if we need them? Then we won’t have enough.”

It has also worked with Gavi, the international vaccine alliance, to bring vaccines through its COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (Covax) program, and has coordinated with the Department of Foreign Affairs here to donate vaccines to countries. neighbors in need.

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Established in 1991 by the Tanjong Pagar Citizens’ Advisory Committee to commemorate the significant contributions of the founding Prime Minister of Singapore, the Lee Kuan Yew Scholarship is awarded to outstanding Singaporeans to assist them in pursuing postgraduate studies. The scholarships were awarded Thursday.

The other two recipients are Dr Hairil Rizal Abdullah, 42, and Matthew Lee Mun Hong, 32, who has been in public service since 2014. They will receive a one-time award of SGD 10,000 as their postgraduate studies are sponsored by their agencies.

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