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Covid-19: People with anaphylaxis can get vaccinated with Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna jabs from June 5

SINGAPORE — From Saturday (June 5), members of the public who have had a history of anaphylaxis and who have been unable to get vaccinated with the messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) Covid-19 vaccines used here will be able to do so.

Covid-19: People with anaphylaxis can get vaccinated with Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna jabs from June 5

The Ministry of Health said that there are about 32,000 people here who are not able to take the mRNA vaccines due to severe allergies.

  • People with a history of anaphylaxis can now be vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines
  • This was recommended by Singapore's expert committee on Covid-19 vaccination after a "careful study" of global and local data
  • The Ministry of Health has accepted the recommendation
  • Those with a history of anaphylaxis or allergic reactions to other vaccines may be referred to an allergist for further evaluation
  • This will be fully subsidised by the Government

 

SINGAPORE — From Saturday (June 5), members of the public who have had a history of anaphylaxis and who have been unable to get vaccinated with the messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) Covid-19 vaccines used here will be able to do so.

In a press statement on Friday, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said that its expert committee on Covid-19 vaccination has recommended that those with a history of anaphylaxis — a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction — and allergic reactions to other drugs, food, insect stings, or other unknown triggers can be vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines.

This is after “a careful study of the data both globally and locally”.

Anaphylaxis is when someone experiences two or more of the following symptoms: Hives or swelling in the face, eyelids, lips or throat, difficulty breathing, and dizziness.

MOH said that it has accepted the committee’s recommendation and those with a history of anaphylaxis or allergic reactions to other vaccines may be referred to an allergist for further evaluation.

This would be fully subsidised by the Government and those assessed may be vaccinated if deemed suitable.

The expert committee, in a separate statement, said that “local and international data indicates that mRNA vaccines are suitable for use in persons with anaphylaxis not related to mRNA vaccinations or its components”.

“To date, more than 200 million doses of mRNA-based vaccines (both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) have been administered worldwide. The data has been reassuring, and there are no safety issues detected with vaccinating individuals with a history of anaphylaxis to other triggers.

“The incidence rate of anaphylaxis reported locally with these mRNA vaccines has also stabilised at about 0.85 per 100,000 doses administered, a rate comparable to that reported internationally,” it said.

MOH disclosed that there are about 32,000 people here who are not able to take the mRNA vaccines due to severe allergies.

“Our primary consideration is to protect all Singaporeans, by ensuring that our population has access to vaccines that meet strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness.” 

With the change, the ministry expects that a large majority of the 32,000 people will now be able to take the mRNA vaccines under the country’s national vaccination programme.

“A minority will still not be eligible, if they have a history of anaphylaxis or allergic reactions to other vaccines.” 

Besides them, there are also about 2,000 people who have developed anaphylaxis or allergic reactions after the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines. MOH said that these people would not receive the mRNA-based vaccines again.

“To protect them against Covid-19, we are also evaluating and will bring in non-mRNA vaccines that are more suitable for them.

“We expect to do this before the end of this year after the vaccines are approved by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) for use in our national vaccination programme," MOH said.

It will provide more details later when these vaccines are available.

If members of the public are unable to wait for the alternate non-mRNA vaccines, they may consider taking a vaccine under a special access route.

Under this arrangement, Covid-19 vaccines approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) and included in its Emergency Use List (EUL) can be imported and supplied by private healthcare providers as unregistered vaccines to be administered to people here. 

The EUL comprises: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson&Johnson, Sinopharm and Sinovac-CoronaVac.

The ministry added that more than 10 other vaccines are still being evaluated by WHO.

GOOD VACCINATION PROGRESS

Separately, MOH said that the country’s vaccination efforts “continue to make good progress”.

A total of about 4.2 million doses have been administered, and almost 2.4 million people here have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

“The exercise for students has (also) got off to an encouraging start,” it added.

Related topics

Covid-19 coronavirus MOH vaccine vaccination Pfizer Moderna anaphylaxis

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