First batch of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines arrive in Singapore ahead of schedule

The Moderna vaccine is the second approved in Singapore and arrived ahead of schedule.

Phoon Jia Hui

Jack of all trades, master of drinking boba milk tea.

Published: 17 February 2021, 6:40 PM

The first shipment of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Singapore on Wednesday (Feb 17). 

This was ahead of its scheduled delivery in March, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI).

The vaccines were delivered via Singapore Airlines (SIA) flight SQ7137, a scheduled freighter service from Brussels, Belgium. It arrived in Singapore’s Changi Airport at about 1.40pm. 

In a separate press release, national carrier SIA said that the vaccines were prioritised for loading into the aircraft in Brussels and were given precedence during unloading in Singapore. 

They were then transported to Sats’ cold-chain facility, Coolport, for subsequent storage and ground transportation.

On Feb 3, the Health Sciences Authority announced that it had granted interim authorisation for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine to be used in Singapore for people aged 18 years and above. 

The vaccine which demonstrated a high vaccine efficacy of 94 per cent will, however, only be available to those 18 years old or older. 

It is the second vaccine in Singapore to be granted interim authorisation under the Pandemic Special Access Route (PSAR), after the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine which arrived in December 2020. 

The vaccination regime submitted by US-based Moderna requires two doses of the vaccine to be administered 28 days apart. 

As a precautionary measure, those with a history of anaphylaxis or severe or multiple allergies to medicines or food should not receive the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, said the Health Sciences Authority. 

Several groups, including pregnant women and severely immunocompromised people, should not receive the vaccine too, as the safety and efficacy data for these groups are not available yet. 

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