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7,100 people allergic to mRNA vaccines have been invited to take Sinovac jab: MOH

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) said that as of Aug 29, it has contacted about 7,100 people who suffered allergic reactions after the first dose of a messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) Covid-19 vaccine to receive the Sinovac vaccine.

7,100 people allergic to mRNA vaccines have been invited to take Sinovac jab: MOH

People waiting to get the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine at a clinic in June 2021.

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) said that as of Aug 29, it has contacted about 7,100 people who suffered allergic reactions after the first dose of a messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) Covid-19 vaccine to receive the Sinovac vaccine.

Responding to TODAY’s queries, the ministry said on Friday (Sept 3) that about 3,900 people have indicated interest in getting a Sinovac jab.

More than 1,100 people have received at least the first dose and about 570 people have completed the full vaccination regimen for the Sinovac vaccine under this programme.

“Since the start of July, the Ministry of Health has been inviting persons who have received one dose of an mRNA Covid-19 vaccine but are medically unable to receive the second dose due to allergic reactions to receive the Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccine at four public hospital clinics,” it added.

“These individuals will be contacted within a month of being recorded as having an allergic reaction to the mRNA vaccine.”

Earlier this month, MOH said that 200,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine have been allocated and new stock is expected to arrive in the next four to six weeks.

Besides the 170,000 doses allocated to private healthcare institutions, 30,000 doses have been reserved for Singaporeans, permanent residents and long-term pass holders who had allergic reactions to the mRNA vaccines, and for other purposes.

STILL WAITING

Ms Aishah, a swab assistant at a private medical firm who declined to give her full name, said that she is now waiting to register her interest for the Sinovac jab.

The 24-year-old suffered an allergic reaction after her first Pfizer-BioNTech shot in January.

“I’m very frustrated... I’m unable to dine with my family, go to the gym or watch movies. I’m the only one among my family and friends who is unvaccinated,” Ms Aishah said.

Customer service officer Siti A Abdullah, who also suffered an allergic reaction after receiving her first Pfizer-BioNTech shot in July, said that she had called the MOH hotline and was told to wait four to six weeks to receive an SMS for the invitation for the jab.

Ms Diana, a 25-year-old analyst who also declined to reveal her full name, said that she is still waiting to hear from the authorities after registering her interest in the Sinovac jab a month ago.

She developed rashes after receiving her first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in July.

While some are eagerly waiting to receive their Sinovac jabs, account manager Siti Hamzah, 26, is holding out for other options.

“Two doses of Sinovac only has a 51 per cent efficacy rate against (symptomatic infection for) the original coronavirus, not even the Delta variant… So why should I take Sinovac?

“I will wait for Novavax because the efficacy rate (90 per cent) is much higher,” she said.

Novavax is developed in the United States and it is not based on the mRNA technology being used in Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

In June, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said that the vaccine is still undergoing clinical trials and Singapore is working closely with the biotechnology company  and awaiting application for regulatory approval. The hope was for vaccine supplies to arrive here before the end of the year.

Related topics

Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine Sinovac Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination allergy

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