Ong Ye Kung Advises S’poreans To Get Bivalent Vaccine Over 2nd Booster, Is As Safe As Original

Bivalent Vaccine Has Same Safety Profile As The Original Moderna/Spikevax mRNA Vaccine

Following updates that Singaporeans should “achieve minimum protection” against Covid-19, many have wondered what that means.

On Friday (7 Oct), the Ministry of Health (MOH) gave an update on the national vaccination regime, saying those aged five and above should complete three mRNA or Novavax/Nuvaxovid vaccine doses, or four doses of the Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccine.

In response to questions raised over the announcement, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said on Facebook that the new Moderna/Spikevax bivalent vaccine can be taken instead of the second booster shot if Singaporeans haven’t gotten it yet.

Source: Ong Ye Kung on Facebook

He said they would be available at Joint Testing and Vaccination Centres (JTVC).

Those above 50 should get bivalent vaccine

According to Mr Ong’s post, minimum protection means getting an infection, followed by two mRNA shots.

However, to keep up to date with one’s vaccination, MOH recommended those aged 50 and above, who have achieved minimum protection, get their additional booster dose about five months to a year after their previous jab.

Meanwhile, Singapore residents of all ages who haven’t achieved minimum protection should also get one.

But beyond minimum protection, he said an infection shouldn’t be seen as a substitute for a shot to keep your vaccination up to date.

If you’re wondering whether you can skip your second booster and straightaway opt for a bivalent dose, you can.

The vaccines are available at any JTVC from 17 Oct. You can check out the complete list of the JTVCs here.

Bivalent vaccine safety efficacy is similar to the original

According to Mr Ong, the bivalent vaccine, which was granted interim authorisation on 14 Sep, has a similar safety profile as the original Moderna/Spikevax mRNA vaccine.

Source: Hannah Beier on Reuters

“Clinical studies show it has the same safety profile as the original Moderna/Spikevax mRNA vaccine, which has been administered over 3 million times locally,” Mr Ong said on Facebook.

Meanwhile, there have been serious adverse events in about 6 in 100,000 vaccinations.

All have recovered or are recovering, according to Mr Ong.

Safe to vaccinate children under 5 years old

Mr Ong noted there were no cases of anaphylaxis or pericarditis/myocarditis observed in children aged below five during clinical trials.

Common side effects were also less common than in adults and subside within two to three days.

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Featured image adapted from Hannah Beier on Reuters.

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