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HSA begins review of Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine for use in Singapore, asks Chinese firm for more data

SINGAPORE — Singapore has begun reviewing data on the Covid-19 vaccine from China’s Sinovac, and has asked for more information from the biopharmaceutical company, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said.

HSA begins review of Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine for use in Singapore, asks Chinese firm for more data

A medical worker taking a box of Sinovac's vaccine from a refrigerator at a community health centre in Qingdao, China on Jan 5, 2021.

SINGAPORE — Singapore has begun reviewing data on the Covid-19 vaccine from China’s Sinovac, and has asked for more information from the biopharmaceutical company, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said.

In response to TODAY’s queries on Saturday (March 20), HSA added that it is waiting for the company to submit the data.

The extra data is needed to assess if the vaccine “can meet the required standards for quality, safety and efficacy for interim authorisation under the Pandemic Special Access Route”, the authority said.

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

Singapore received its first shipment of the Sinovac vaccine on Feb 23, but it has not yet been authorised for use here.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said during an interview with news outlet BBC’s Talking Business Asia programme that the Chinese-made vaccine will be used in Singapore if it is proven to be safe and effective.

“We use vaccines from any source, vaccines do not carry nationality,” he said, adding that China has very capable scientists, biomedical researchers and vaccine researchers.

HSA told TODAY that it is in talks with various companies — including British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca — on their submission plans for coronavirus vaccines.

Over the past few weeks, numerous countries temporarily suspended roll-outs of AstraZeneca’s vaccine as a precautionary measure following isolated reports of blood clots in recipients.

The drugmaker and the World Health Organization have maintained there is no evidence that the cases were caused by the vaccine, and several countries have since resumed their use of the AstraZeneca shot.

HSA added that it rigorously evaluates all vaccines on their quality, safety and efficacy before they are approved for use here.

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Covid-19 coronavirus coronavirus vaccine Sinovac HSA

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