Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine to be included in Singapore’s national vaccination programme

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The Sinovac-CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccine will be included in Singapore’s national vaccination program as a three-dose regime, the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced on Saturday (Oct 23).

This follows the Health Sciences Authority’s (HSA) decision to grant it interim authorization under the Pandemic Special Access Route (PSAR).

The Health Ministry noted that while local vaccination rates are high – at more than 90 percent in eligible age groups – there are some who choose not to take up mRNA vaccines due to “strong personal preferences”.

“To ensure that everyone will have reasonably good protection against COVID-19, we will offer the three-dose primary series regime of Sinovac-CoronaVac under the national vaccination program to those who have not completed their full course of vaccination, including persons who had only received one or two doses of Sinovac-CoronaVac previously,” said MOH.

Due to the lower vaccine efficacy of the Sinovac vaccine, MOH set out the following guidelines:

  • People who received only one or two doses of the Sinovac vaccine are “strongly encouraged” to complete three doses for “more optimal protection”.
  • People who are unable to take any dose of the mRNA vaccines due to medical reasons should receive three doses of the Sinovac vaccine.
  • Those who started with mRNA vaccines but developed allergies of severe adverse reactions after the first dose should follow up with two doses of Sinovac. If the allergic reaction happened after the second mRNA dose, then they should take one more dose of Sinovac as their booster jab when they become eligible for one.

As recommended by the expert committee on COVID-19 vaccination, those who can take mRNA vaccines should continue to take two doses of that, said MOH.

The Sinovac vaccine will also not be offered as a booster to those who already received two doses of an mRNA vaccine and did not develop allergies or severe adverse reactions. For this group, the third dose of mRNA vaccine will be offered to them as the booster.

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