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Covid-19: At least 5 private healthcare groups in Singapore have applied to offer Sinovac vaccine

SINGAPORE — At least five private healthcare groups here have applied to offer the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine to patients, checks by TODAY found.

Covid-19: At least 5 private healthcare groups in Singapore have applied to offer Sinovac vaccine

The window for private healthcare groups in Singapore to apply to administer the Sinovac vaccine (pictured) closed on June 11, 2021, at noon.

SINGAPORE — At least five private healthcare groups here have applied to offer the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine to patients, checks by TODAY found.

They are Farrer Park Hospital, Fullerton Health, Raffles Medical Group, Thomson Medical and IHH Healthcare Singapore, which operates hospitals and clinics under the Parkway brand as well as Mount Elizabeth Hospital and Gleneagles Hospital.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced last week that some 200,000 doses of the China-made vaccine that Singapore has in stock will be released for free to licensed private healthcare providers who successfully apply to administer it under a “special access route”. The clinics or hospitals may charge people a fee for the service.

The Sinovac vaccines had arrived in Singapore in February, but the Health Sciences Authority has not given approval for the vaccines to be used as part of the national Covid-19 vaccination exercise.  

The window for private healthcare groups to apply to administer the Sinovac vaccine closed on Friday (June 11) at noon.

TODAY has asked MOH for the total number of applications it has received.

Of the 12 private healthcare institutions contacted, only Mount Alvernia Hospital said that it did not apply to administer the vaccine, while the others did not respond by publication time.

Fullerton Health said that if its application is successful, it plans to offer the Sinovac vaccine at the primary care clinics and facilities that it operates.

Raffles Medical Group said: “We welcome the opportunity to support the Covid-19 vaccination effort by providing an additional option for Covid-19 vaccination for individuals who for one reason or other wish to receive the Sinovac vaccine instead of the vaccines that are available on the national vaccination programme.”

The majority of the private healthcare groups said that they are still working out the details on pricing and logistics, and are doing so in consultation with MOH.

Dr Daniel Lee, general manager and chief operating officer of Thomson Medical, said that the medical group is planning to charge patients only a nominal fee to cover the costs of administering the vaccine, should it be chosen to administer Sinovac.

Farrer Park Hospital said that it has received hundreds of queries from people who have expressed interest in receiving the Sinovac vaccine.

“We do not offer any advance bookings for the vaccinations now but we will keep those who have shared their interest with us in mind, and advise them further once we have secured the vaccine.”

Dr Noel Yeo, chief operating officer of IHH Healthcare Singapore, said that the group has similarly received numerous queries on Sinovac from its own doctors, patients and other members of the public. 

This “indicates a strong interest to receive alternative Covid-19 vaccines”, he added.

“We are still at the very early stages of the process and our ability to offer these vaccines is still subject to availability and prevailing criteria set by MOH,” he said. 

“Therefore, we will only be reaching out to the public to register their interest at a suitable and appropriate time, in consultation with MOH.”

Related topics

Covid-19 coronavirus Sinovac MOH healthcare clinics hospitals

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