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Over 17,000 people in S'pore given first dose of Sinovac vaccine, including 2 who developed rashes

SINGAPORE — Two adverse events related to the Sinovac vaccine had been reported in the first 12 days the China-made vaccine was allowed to be administered at clinics here.

Over 17,000 people in S'pore given first dose of Sinovac vaccine, including 2 who developed rashes

More than 7,000 first doses of the China-made Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine had been administered as of June 29, 2021.

  • Two “non-serious” adverse events linked to Sinovac emerged as of June 29
  • 17,296 people had received one dose of the vaccine as of Saturday
  • Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said HSA will provide an update if any significant safety concern is detected
  • The Health Sciences Authority said that the adverse events pertained to two individuals, in their 20s and 50s, who developed rashes

 

SINGAPORE — Two adverse events related to the Sinovac vaccine had been reported in the first 12 days the China-made vaccine was allowed to be administered at clinics here.

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung revealed this in a written response to a parliamentary question on Monday (July 5), as he gave an update that 17,296 people here had taken one dose of the two-dose Sinovac vaccine as of Saturday.

Mr Ong referred to the two adverse events, which were reported as of June 29, as “non-serious”, but did not elaborate.

In response to TODAY’s queries, the Health Sciences Authority said that the adverse events pertained to two individuals, in their 20s and 50s, who developed hives, or red, raised and itchy skin rash after getting the Sinovac vaccine.

When announcing that 24 private healthcare institutions here selected to administer the Government’s stock of Sinovac from June 18 through a special access route, the Ministry of Health (MOH) had said that those who take it would not be covered under the vaccine injury financial assistance programme should any serious side effects occur. Another seven clinics were subsequently added to the list.

This was as Sinovac is not recommended as part of the national vaccination programme by Singapore’s expert committee on Covid-19 vaccination yet.

Mr Ong was responding to Member of Parliament (MP) of Yio Chu Kang Single Member Constituency Yip Hon Weng, who had asked how many people have received a dose of the Sinovac vaccine to date, and what adverse effects they had reported.

Mr Yip also asked if MOH will provide periodic updates on adverse reactions as it does for the two messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) vaccines under the national vaccination programme — Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna — so those who wish to take Sinovac can make informed decisions.

Mr Ong said that MOH and HSA will continue to monitor any adverse events, and will provide an update if any significant safety concern is detected.

Among those taking the Sinovac vaccine are those who cannot take the mRNA vaccines for medical reasons. This group will not be charged for the Sinovac jabs, as the ministry will reimburse the clinics directly.

Mr Ong on Monday also responded to a question by Aljunied Group Representation Constituency MP Gerald Giam, who had asked whether individuals with contraindications for the mRNA vaccines can be given priority to receive the Sinovac vaccine over those who choose it out of personal preference.

Noting that only a small group of individuals would be contraindicated for the mRNA vaccines, Mr Ong said MOH has already set aside enough Sinovac vaccine stocks for their priority use.

Mr Ong stated that these individuals include those with allergic reactions to the first dose of mRNA-based vaccine and those who are allergic to other vaccines and are assessed by an allergist to be unsuitable for mRNA-based vaccines.

Asked if Sinovac can be made part of the national vaccination programme for this group, so that they can qualify for the vaccine injury financial assistance programme, Mr Ong said this had not happened yet since HSA is still awaiting additional data to complete its evaluation of the vaccine for its safety and efficacy standards.

He reiterated that individuals taking it should be aware that they will not be eligible for financial aid should any serious side effects occur.

In another parliamentary question, Mr Yip also asked about the kind of assistance available to needy patients who suffer severe complications from Sinovac but do not have coverage under Integrated Shield Plans.

Mr Ong said they can continue to receive support through applicable healthcare financing schemes, such as MediShield Life and subsidies at public healthcare institutions or private insurance, where applicable.

That said, the authorities continue to encourage individuals to take the two vaccines under the national vaccination programme, Mr Ong said.

“They are free, proven to be safe and effective, and will be covered by the vaccine injury financial assistance programme,” he added.

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Covid-19 coronavirus vaccination Sinovac Ong Ye Kung

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