On Tuesday (1 Jun), the World Health Organisation (WHO) approved the Sinovac vaccine for emergency use.
Today (2 Jun), the Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed with The Straits Times (ST) that it’s allowed the vaccine under the Special Access Route.
This means that it won’t be part of the national vaccine programme, unlike the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.
Instead, those who wish to get it can go through the private healthcare sector.
Currently, Singapore has a stock of 200,000 Sinovac vaccine doses.
With the approval, private healthcare institutions can get stocks to administer the vaccine to those who prefer it.
Pricing isn’t available yet, however. MOH said they’re still working on that.
Things like safety and informed consent process are also being worked out.
ST reports that given Sinovac isn’t part of the national vaccine programme, those who get it won’t be eligible for the Vaccine Injury Financial Assistance Programme (VIFAP).
The VIFAP covers those who get national vaccines with a one-time goodwill finance assistance payout.
Persons who experience serious side effects assessed to be related to COVID-19 vaccines administered in Singapore will be covered.
But this won’t apply to those who get the Sinovac vaccine as it’s only under the Special Access Route.
The ultimate goal is to get as many people vaccinated in Singapore as possible, so that we can reach the ‘new normal’ as described by PM Lee during his address on 31 May.
To get to that stage, more vaccine types may be needed in Singapore.
The Sinovac vaccine should provide an alternative to those who may be more enthusiastic about that type as opposed to mRNA ones.
Other vaccines approved under the WHO emergency-use list are also allowed under SAR.
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Featured image adapted from Unsplash.
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