MOH approves special access to Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine through private healthcare sector

SINGAPORE – Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccine will be allowed under the Special Access Route (SAR), said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Wednesday (June 2).

This follows the announcement by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Tuesday that it had approved the vaccine for use under its Emergency Use Listing.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, MOH said that given this latest development, the Sinovac vaccine would be allowed under the SAR.

However, since the China-made vaccine is not part of the national vaccine programme, those who choose to receive it will not be eligible for the Vaccine Injury Financial Assistance Programme (VIFAP).

MOH said it will release more details in the coming days on how private healthcare institutions can apply to be licensed providers of the vaccine.

It added that it is working out details on pricing, informed consent process and safety of the patients who prefer to be administered with Sinovac’s vaccine.

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung had said on Monday that licensed healthcare institutions can apply to MOH to draw on Singapore’s existing stock of 200,000 doses of the vaccine, which was delivered earlier this year.

However, MOH clarified on Wednesday that this is still a possibility that is being assessed.

“As more international and local evidence and data becomes available, the Expert Committee on Covid-19 vaccination is also reviewing current restrictions to allow people with known history of anaphylaxis to be vaccinated, with the two mRNA vaccines currently approved for use here,” said MOH, adding that this will enable more people to be protected from the virus.

The two mRNA vaccines refer to those by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech. Both use messenger RNA to give instructions to the body’s cells to produce a harmless piece of the spike protein found on the surface of the coronavirus that causes Covid-19. This allows the body to protect itself from the disease.

In contrast, Sinovac uses an inactivated form of the coronavirus to teach the body how to protect itself from Covid-19.

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