Top healthcare experts, scientists form committee on Singapore’s vaccination strategy
SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) has revealed the composition of an Expert Committee that will make recommendations to the Government on Singapore’s Covid-19 vaccination strategy.
- A panel of experts will advise the Government on the country's Covid-19 vaccination plans
- The committee chairman is Associate Professor Benjamin Ong, a senior adviser at MOH
- The other 13 members comprise experts in infectious diseases, immunology and other relevant fields
- The group has met regularly in the past month to discuss the profiles of various vaccine candidates
- MOH said that Singapore has taken steps to secure access to a portfolio of vaccines for its population
SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) has revealed the composition of an expert committee that will make recommendations to the Government on Singapore’s Covid-19 vaccination strategy.
In a press release on Thursday (Nov 12), MOH said that the 14-member committee, announced last month, is chaired by Associate Professor Benjamin Ong, who is the senior adviser to the director of medical services at MOH.
Assoc Prof Ong is also the senior vice-president of Health Education and Resources at the National University of Singapore (NUS).
The committee comprises experts in infectious diseases, immunology and other relevant fields, MOH said.
Dr Cheong Wei Yang, the deputy secretary of special projects at MOH
Assoc Prof Chong Chia Yin, a senior consultant and director at the Division of Medicine at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital
Professor Nicholas Gascoigne from the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at NUS
Assoc Prof Lim Poh Lian, director of the High Level Isolation Unit at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID)
Assoc Prof David Lye, director of the Infectious Diseases Research and Training Office at NCID
Assoc Prof Helen Oh, a senior consultant at Changi General Hospital
Dr Lisa Ooi, the vice-president of healthcare and wellness at the Economic Development Board
Dr Anuradha Poonepalli, a regulatory consultant from the Health Sciences Authority
Assoc Prof Ren Ee Chee, principal investigator at the Singapore Immunology Network under the Agency for Science, Technology and Research
Prof Laurent Renia, senior principal investigator at the Singapore Immunology Network
Dr Benjamin Seet, group chief research officer of the National Healthcare Group
Dr Danny Soon, chief executive officer of the Consortium for Clinical Research and Innovation Singapore
Prof Tan Chorh Chuan, the chief health scientist at MOH
The appointment of the committee members came into effect on Oct 5.
The group held its first meeting on Oct 13 and has met regularly in the past month to discuss the profiles of various vaccine candidates, as well as the conditions under which to deploy the vaccines in Singapore, MOH said.
The ministry said that the committee will “leverage scientific and clinical expertise to assess vaccine candidates, and recommend the appropriate vaccines for use against Covid-19 in Singapore”.
The committee will also consider the most up-to-date information and assessment of Covid-19 vaccines, and closely monitor the development of vaccines globally as well as the stance of authoritative agencies such as the World Health Organization.
“As the latest clinical data of vaccine candidates emerges, the expert committee will assess their safety, efficacy and suitability for use by the different segments of Singapore’s population.
“It will then make recommendations on the administration of vaccines to specific segments of the population and advise on the overall vaccination strategy for Singapore,” MOH said.
Assoc Prof Ong said that the committee will “closely study” the safety and clinical data of vaccines as they become available and provide recommendations on Singapore's vaccination strategy based on the local context.
“The safety of Singaporeans is our top priority, and the diverse range of expertise among my colleagues in the expert committee will put us in good stead as we deliberate on strategies for the implementation of Covid-19 vaccination in Singapore,” he added.
MOH said that Singapore has taken steps to secure access to a portfolio of vaccines for its population by actively participating in the work of the global Covid-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility.
It has also broadened and diversified Singapore’s vaccine portfolio with a number of pharmaceutical companies, which are developing vaccines to improve Singapore's chances of securing a suitable vaccine.