Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Covid-19: Sinovac-CoronaVac to be included in national vaccination programme for those aged 18 and above

SINGAPORE — The Sinovac-CoronaVac Covid-19 vaccine will be included in the national vaccination programme to allow the “small minority” of unvaccinated individuals who cannot take a messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) vaccine due to medical conditions to become fully vaccinated, the Ministry of Health said on Saturday (Oct 23).

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said that the Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccine will come under the vaccine injury financial assistance programme.

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said that the Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccine will come under the vaccine injury financial assistance programme.

  • The Sinovac-CoronaVac Covid-19 vaccine will be included in the national vaccination programme
  • This is following the Health Sciences Authority’s interim authorisation of the vaccine
  • From Oct 20, persons aged 18 and above who are medically ineligible to complete a two-dose regime of mRNA vaccines will be invited to receive their Sinovac doses
  • Those who have taken two doses of Sinovac will be regarded as fully vaccinated four months after the second dose

 

SINGAPORE — The Sinovac-CoronaVac Covid-19 vaccine will be included in the national vaccination programme to allow the “small minority” of unvaccinated individuals who cannot take a messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) vaccine due to medical conditions to become fully vaccinated, the Ministry of Health said on Saturday (Oct 23).

This is following the Health Sciences Authority’s interim authorisation of the vaccine under the Pandemic Special Access Route, which facilitates early access to critical novel vaccines.

Currently, both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech or Comirnaty vaccines approved for the national vaccination programme are mRNA vaccines.

MOH said in a statement that Singapore’s Covid-19 vaccination rates are high — at more than 90 per cent in eligible age groups.

“However, there are some who continue to choose not to take up mRNA vaccinations due to strong personal preferences.”

To ensure that everyone will have reasonably good protection against Covid-19, the Government will offer the three-dose primary series regime of Sinovac-CoronaVac under the national vaccination programme to people who have not completed their full course of vaccination, including those who had received just one or two doses of Sinovac-CoronaVac earlier.

“This will help improve protection for persons vaccinated with Sinovac-CoronaVac,” MOH said.

However, the Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccine will not be offered as a booster for people who had already completed two doses of an mRNA vaccine and did not develop allergies or severe adverse reactions, the ministry added.

For this group, a third dose of mRNA vaccine will be offered to them as the booster dose instead.

INVITATIONS TO GET SINOVAC VACCINE

From Oct 20, persons aged 18 and above who are medically ineligible to complete a two-dose regime of mRNA vaccines due to allergies or severe adverse reactions after their first dose will be invited to receive their Sinovac doses to complete their three-dose regime.

An SMS with a personalised booking link will be sent to the mobile number that they had given when registering earlier for their first dose of an mRNA vaccine, for them to book a new appointment on www.vaccine.gov.sg.

The vaccine will be administered at Raffles City Convention Centre, 11 selected Public Health Preparedness Clinics and a list of approved private clinics. More details on these clinics will be published on MOH’s website on Sunday.

Considering that there is an interval of 90 days between the second and third doses of the Sinovac vaccine, those who have taken two doses of Sinovac will be regarded as fully vaccinated for four months after the second dose, or Dec 31 this year, whichever is later.

“This arrangement will provide enough time for individuals to get their third doses and maintain their vaccination status. The same rule will apply to those who had received two doses of the Sinopharm vaccine," MOH said.

“For travellers, we recognise that many may have taken only two doses of Sinovac-CoronaVac in their home country, and we will regard those with two doses as vaccinated, but only for a limited period of 30 days.”

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said at a press conference by the Government's Covid-19 task force on Saturday that the Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccine will come under the vaccine injury financial assistance programme. It provides payouts to eligible citizens, permanent residents and long-term pass holders who experience serious side effects assessed to be related to an authorised Covid-19 vaccination received in Singapore.

“However, for some individuals who have taken the Sinovac vaccine before the Pandemic Special Access Route approval was given and had paid for it, we will not be able to reimburse the costs and we seek your understanding,” he added.

The Pandemic Special Access Route refers to an interim authorisation that facilitates early access to critical novel vaccines, medicines and medical devices during a pandemic. Companies can only apply to the Health Sciences Authority using this route for designated health products that the Government of Singapore requires during a pandemic.

GUIDANCE FOR SINOVAC-CORONAVAC VACCINE

MOH said that given the relatively lower vaccine efficacy of the Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccine compared with mRNA vaccines, the following guidelines will apply. They are put forth by the expert committee on Covid-19 vaccination advising the Government:

  • Persons who can take the mRNA vaccines should continue to take two doses of the mRNA vaccines to complete their primary series regime

  • Persons who had received only one or two doses of the Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccine to date are strongly encouraged to complete their three-dose regime with the mRNA vaccines as it offers more optimal protection

  • Persons who are unable to take any dose of the mRNA vaccines due to medical reasons should receive three doses of Sinovac-CoronaVac in total to complete the regime

  • Persons who started vaccination with mRNA vaccines but developed allergies or severe adverse reactions after the first dose of mRNA vaccine should complete a three-dose regime with two more doses of Sinovac-CoronaVac. If the allergic reaction happens after the second dose of the mRNA vaccine, then he or she should take one more dose of Sinovac-CoronaVac as a vaccine booster when they are eligible for it

NOT APPROVED FOR PERSONS AGED 12 TO 17 YEARS

The ministry clarified on Saturday that the Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccine has not been approved for general use for youth aged 12 to 17.

This is not in the application from Sinovac and is also consistent with the World Health Organization’s approved use, it added.

However, for those in this age band who are medically ineligible to complete a full two-dose regime of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Comirnaty vaccines, a three-dose regimen using Sinovac-CoronaVac will be offered under a dedicated public health programme.

Under this programme, trained medical personnel will closely monitor persons under the age of 18 who have been given the Sinovac doses.

“We will get in touch with eligible persons in this age group on how they can receive the Sinovac-CoronaVac safely,” MOH said.

Related topics

Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine vaccination Sinovac MOH

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.