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Bivalent Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine jabs available to those aged 12 and above from Dec 12

SINGAPORE — From next Monday (Dec 12), Singapore residents aged 12 and above can get the bivalent Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty) Covid-19 vaccine, which offers stronger protection against Omicron variants of the coronavirus compared to the original monovalent vaccine.

The Ministry of Health urges people, who are eligible, to take the bivalent Covid-19 vaccine as an extra vaccine dose, to ensure that they continue to have good protection against the infectious disease.
The Ministry of Health urges people, who are eligible, to take the bivalent Covid-19 vaccine as an extra vaccine dose, to ensure that they continue to have good protection against the infectious disease.
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  • The authorities will roll out the bivalent Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty Covid-19 vaccine for residents aged 12 and above from Dec 12
  • This follows a recommendation by the Expert committee on Covid-19 Vaccination to switch to the bivalent vaccine in place of the monovalent vaccine for the primary vaccination series and for booster vaccination for this age group
  • Bivalent vaccines offer better protection against Omicron and other Covid-19 variants than monovalent vaccines
  • MOH said those who have already booked an appointment to receive the monovalent Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty vaccine may choose to reschedule

SINGAPORE — From next Monday (Dec 12), Singapore residents aged 12 and above can get the bivalent Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty) Covid-19 vaccine, which offers stronger protection against Omicron variants of the coronavirus compared to the original monovalent vaccine.

Announcing this in a statement on Tuesday (Dec 6), the Ministry of Health (MOH) said that the rollout follows the recommendation made by the expert committee on Covid-19 vaccination to switch to the bivalent vaccine in place of the monovalent vaccine — for the primary vaccination series and for booster vaccination among people of this age group. 

Those who are eligible will receive an SMS notice by phone, with a personalised booking link to make an appointment at their preferred location, MOH added.

Those who have already booked an appointment to receive the monovalent Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty) vaccine may choose to re-schedule their appointments to a new date on or after Dec 12, to receive the updated bivalent vaccine.

"The bivalent Moderna-Spikevax vaccine continues to be available for persons aged 18 years and above," MOH said.

"The protection conferred by our high vaccination rate has enabled us to keep the number of severe cases and deaths much lower than in many other countries," it added.

"As new Covid-19 variants continue to emerge, we urge those — who are eligible — to take the bivalent vaccine as an additional vaccine dose, to ensure they continue to have good protection against Covid-19."

Bivalent vaccines offer better protection against Omicron and other Covid-19 virus strains than monovalent vaccines, because it contains messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) components from two strains of the coronavirus, whereas the monovalent vaccines contain just a component from the original virus.

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) had in October authorised the Pfizer Comirnaty bivalent Covid-19 vaccine for use in Singapore.

In a separate statement on Tuesday, the expert committee on Covid-19 vaccination said that the updated bivalent vaccines are preferred over the original monovalent ones because studies have shown that it generates a stronger immune response against the Omicron variant compared to the original monovalent vaccine. 

This updated vaccine also targets the spike proteins from both the original virus and the Omicron BA.4 or BA.5 variants of the virus.

The committee also said that both the Pfizer and Moderna bivalent vaccines that are available now enhance protection against Omicron variants and there is no evidence at the moment that either vaccine is better than the other in terms of protection against future variants.

“As such, either can be chosen for booster vaccination, and persons who have already completed booster vaccinations with the bivalent Moderna-Spikevax vaccine do not need to receive an additional bivalent Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty) vaccine dose, or vice versa.”

PFIZER-BIONTECH VACCINE FOR YOUNG CHILDREN

MOH said that it had also accepted the expert committee’s recommendation that the Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty) vaccine may be used for the primary vaccination series for children aged six months to four years.

The primary vaccination series consists of three doses, each given eight weeks apart. More details on the rollout will be announced later, the ministry said. 

For now, only the Moderna-Spikevax vaccine is available to children aged six months to four years old — given in two separate doses.  

The expert committee said that the trial of the Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty) vaccine in children aged six months to four years has shown that three doses generate antibody levels comparable to that achieved in young adults vaccinated with two doses of the adult dosage.

The committee had earlier recommended that children aged six months to four years be vaccinated with two doses of the Moderna-Spikevax vaccine for their age group.

"With this latest recommendation, parents also have the option of letting their children aged six months to four years receive the Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty) vaccine instead,” it added.

Parents should note, however, that this option requires three doses taken over 16 weeks, compared to two doses taken over eight weeks for the Moderna-Spikevax vaccine, and therefore more vaccination visits and a longer period are needed to achieve optimal protection.

MOBILE VACCINATION TEAM FOR SENIORS

To make it more convenient for seniors to get vaccinated and boosted, mobile vaccination teams will be deployed to several locations from Dec 12. 

Currently, about nine in 10 seniors aged 60 and above have achieved minimum protection against Covid-19, and six in 10 are up to date with their vaccination, MOH said. 

There are still close to 40,000 eligible seniors who have not yet achieved minimum protection. 

The mobile vaccination teams will be deployed to these locations:

  • Bukit Panjang Zone 3 Residents' Committee (RC)
  • Chua Chu Kang Community Club (CC)
  • Hong Kah North CC
  • Kampong Chai Chee CC
  • Leng Kee CC
  • Potong Pasir Zone 3 RC
  • Teck Ghee CC
  • Toa Payoh Central CC
They will be deployed at each site for three days before moving on to the next location. Members of the public may visit gowhere.gov.sg for the deployment schedule of the mobile vaccination teams.

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Health Pfizer Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine

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