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Singapore allows use of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine through private healthcare sectors

The vaccine will only be available for those 18 years and older under the special access route, after it was approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization.

Noreen Shazreen

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Published: 3 June 2021, 12:59 PM

China’s Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine can be used in Singapore under the special access route (SAR) after the World Health Organization (WHO) approved it for emergency use. 

The Ministry of Health announced on Wednesday (Jun 2) that through the special access route, private healthcare providers can bring in unregistered COVID-19 vaccines, provided that they have been approved by WHO and are on its emergency use listing. 

Currently, vaccines approved by WHO for emergency use include those from Johnson & Johnson, Oxford-AstraZeneca and Sinopharm. 

The Sinovac vaccine was approved by the WHO on Tuesday. It is recommended for adults aged 18 and above in a two-dose schedule spread out across two to four weeks.

“Vaccine efficacy results showed that the vaccine prevented symptomatic disease in 51 per cent of those vaccinated and prevented severe COVID-19 and hospitalisation in 100 per cent of the studied population,” WHO said.

Only the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, both based on mRNA technology, have been approved for use in Singapore by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA). 

However, both mRNA vaccines are not suitable for people with a weakened immune system or a history of severe allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis.

The HSA has yet to approve the Sinovac vaccine, even though Singapore received 200,000 doses of the shot in February.

As the Sinovac vaccine is not part of the national programme, those who choose to take the Sinovac shot will not be eligible for the Vaccine Injury Financial Assistance Programme for COVID-19 vaccination. 

The MOH said it will release more details soon for private healthcare sectors to apply to be licensed providers for the Sinovac-CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccine.


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