Singapore Adds Sinovac To Vaccine Programme For Individuals Aged 18 Years & Above
As Singapore accelerates towards higher vaccination rates, those who can’t receive mRNA vaccines due to medical reasons may be feeling anxious. News that the Government is including Sinovac in the National Vaccine Programme (NVP) will thus be music to their ears.
Today (23 Oct), the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced the big news in a press release.
With the vaccine officially in the NVP, there are now more vaccination options for those who have yet to get their jabs.
Official inclusion in National Vaccine Programme
According to MOH, the inclusion comes after the Health Sciences Authority’s (HSA) interim authorisation of the vaccine under the Pandemic Special Access Route (PSAR).
Since the Expert Committee recognises the vaccine’s lower efficacy, they recommend a 3-dose regime for the following cases:
- individuals who have received 1 or 2 doses of Sinovac must get a 3rd
- those who can’t take mRNA vaccines due to medical reasons should get 3 Sinovac doses
- individuals who developed allergies after the first dose of mRNA, take 2 Sinovac doses but after the 2nd mRNA jab, take only 1 dose (when eligible for a booster shot)
In the first 2 scenarios above, the 3rd dose is part of a primary series rather than a booster shot.
MOH still advises those who can take the mRNA vaccines to get their 2 shots of that.
Since 20 Oct, MOH has been inviting eligible individuals to get their Sinovac shots. For these folks, their appointments will be at the Raffles City Convention Centre.
Not available as booster shot for mRNA recipients
Perhaps aware of recent interest in taking Sinovac as a booster shot, MOH clarifies that they will not offer it for that purpose.
This is especially if individuals did not develop any allergic reactions to their mRNA doses.
Instead, they will proceed with offering the mRNA vaccine for the 3rd dose.
MOH also reiterates the fact that they have not approved general usage for 12-17-year-olds. However, they will provide it to those in the age group who are unable to receive mRNA vaccines due to medical reasons.
Individuals who have received 2 doses of the vaccine will qualify as fully vaccinated for 4 months after their 2nd dose or till 31 Dec, whichever is later.
They must thus take the 3rd dose as part of the primary series to continue holding this status.
Protection for unvaccinated individuals with medical reasons
With vaccine-differentiated measures strictly in place now, this news is great for those who have been unable to receive their jabs due to medical reasons.
Hopefully, the move will encourage more people to get their jabs and protect themselves from the virus.
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Featured image adapted from Ong Ye Kung on Facebook.
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