Even though the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are available for free under our national vaccination programme, some may look for alternative options.
The Sinovac vaccine, in particular, is extremely popular, with nearly 100,000 doses administered to date.
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Soon, Singapore residents may have even more vaccine options as 11 healthcare providers will be bringing in the Sinopharm vaccine.
However, recipients and doctors administering the jabs will have to fully bear any risks that may arise from the use of the vaccine.
According to Channel NewsAsia (CNA), the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has given the green light for 11 private hospitals and clinics to bring in the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine.
HSA reportedly gave the approval on Wednesday (28 Jul) under the special access route (SAR).
Despite the approval, doctors and recipients should note that they have to bear the risks of using such vaccines.
Though HSA did not disclose which healthcare providers have obtained the approval, several companies confirmed that they are planning to import the Sinopharm vaccine.
Raffles Medical Group, for one, confirmed with The Straits Times (ST) that they have “taken steps” to procure the vaccine.
They reportedly also plan on administering jabs from August.
Raffles Medical had earlier urged residents to register their interest in the vaccine via a Facebook post on 26 Jul.
IHH Healthcare, which owns Parkway Pantai – Singapore’s largest private hospital operator – also told CNA that they had obtained HSA’s approval.
However, they are reportedly in the midst of sorting out the details and could not provide a date for when they would start administering the vaccines.
Similar to the Sinovac shot, the China-made Sinopharm vaccine uses an inactivated form of the Covid-19 virus.
It also comprises 2 doses which must be taken 3-4 weeks apart.
The vaccine is recommended for individuals aged 18 and above.
But in comparison to Sinovac which has 51% efficacy, Sinopharm has a higher rate of 79%, as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) in June.
Though the majority of Singaporeans would have already received their jabs, the Sinopharm vaccine would give those who remain unvaccinated more choice.
Hopefully, it will prove effective in protecting recipients and their loved ones from the virus.
If you know someone who might be interested in getting the Sinopharm jab, tag them in the comments below.
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Featured image adapted from VOA Chinese.
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