SINGAPORE – Sinovac’s Covid -19 vaccine is approved under the Special Access Route (SAR), according to the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Wednesday (June 2).
This follows the announcement by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday that it has the shot is approved under the Emergency Use List.
In response to questions from The Straits Times, MOH said that if given its latest development, the Sinovac product would be allowed under SAR.
However, because the The vaccine made in China is not part of the national program, those who choose to receive it may not qualify for the Vaccine Injury Financial Assistance Program (Vifap) if they must develop any adverse reactions.
MOH said it will release more details in the coming days on how private healthcare institutions apply to become licensed providers.
It added that working pricing details, known authorization process and safety for patients who want to be administered Sinovac’s shot.
Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said on Monday that Licensed healthcare institutions can apply to MOH to acquire existing stock in Singapore of 200,000 doses of the vaccine, delivered earlier this year.
However, the MOH clarified on Wednesday that it is still a possibility that it will be investigated.
The ministry added that if more international and local evidence and data are available, the Expert Committee on Covid-19 vaccination is also reviewing current bans to allow people with a known history of anaphylaxis to be assigned to both mRNA vaccines are currently approved for use here – those by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech.
The same RNA messenger is used to give instructions to the body’s cells to make a harmless fragment of the spike protein found on the surface of the coronavirus that causes Covid-19. It allows the body to protect itself from disease.
In contrast, Sinovac uses an inactive form of the coronavirus to teach the body how to protect itself from Covid-19.
Some private health providers interviewed at ST are interested in offering vaccines under SAR.
Dr Tan Teck Jack, chief executive officer of Northeast Medical Group, said his chain of clinics seeks to offer such vaccines to help quickly inoculate the entire population.
“We would be grateful if the Ministry of Health gave us some instructions. But we can also negotiate directly with local representatives of any pharmaceutical company as needed,” he added.
He said that although he does not know the price of vaccines at present, his group aims to keep the cost to patients.
“Because it is part of a national initiative with a broader purpose, it will not be taken advantage of,” he added, pointing out that vaccination can be done on an appointment basis only to avoid the thrust.
Dr Raymond Ong, a senior physician with telemedicine service provider Doctor Anywhere, said that in addition to aiming to offer the Sinovac vaccine to clinics, the group also hopes to include it in the mobile medicine service and bring medicine to people’s door.
“We understand that some people may not be able to leave their homes to be vaccinated,” he explained, adding that this move would depend on approval from the authorities.
Dr Seow En Hao, founder of EH Medical, said there was interest in the land for Sinovac.
“It could be patients who are not allowed to take mRNA vaccines for medical reasons or who choose not to drink for fear of side effects from currently available vaccines,” he added.
Some want the Sinovac vaccine because they want to travel to China “because China now recognizes vaccines made with vaccines”, he said.
He added that he is now waiting for further instructions and approval from the MOH before deciding whether to offer such vaccines.
Dr Khor Chin Kee, chief executive of Healthway Medical which runs 53 general practice (GP) clinics here, said the group is still exploring various vaccine options under SAR, including Sinovac .
Raffles Medical Group, which also has 53 GP clinics here, said it was waiting for instructions from MOH and reviewed Monday’s announcement about the SAR.
Thomson Medical and Fullerton Health echo this position.
For some members of the public, it’s too late to announce that it’s too late.
Retired Goh Lam Woo, 83, waited several months to receive the Sinovac vaccine. But with the pandemic worsening, he decided to take a Pfizer-BioNTech one last week while with his wife, who was also shocked.
“I feel a little disappointed,” he said of the WHO’s approval of the WHO vaccine.
He added that he refuses to take mRNA vaccines because it is a “new product”, and he would have preferred to take Sinovac’s shot since he considered it a “real vaccine”, similar to class used against influenza, measles or polio.
“(Pfizer-BioNTech) won’t tell you what the effects (of their vaccine) are a year down the road; what your organs will do,” he said.
Others were unconcerned in the hope of taking Sinovac’s shot.
Ms Spring Victoria Zaccheus said she probably would not choose it because the reported effectiveness rate is lower than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
“I don’t feel safe to take,” said the 24-year-old student.
Even if he has drug allergies that can cause “severe intoxication” in his eyes and could put him at risk of such a reaction to mRNA vaccines, he added: hours instead of just 30 minutes, if something will happen. ”
Retiree Madam Toh, 80, did not take mRNA vaccines because of her history of anaphylaxis.
Some experts have suggested that certain nanoparticles in mRNA vaccines can cause allergic reactions to them.
Even if Sinovac’s vaccine may be empty of such nanoparticles, Madam Toh still refuses to accept it.
“They never knew what allergies could cause a reaction to Sinovac’s vaccine. I suspect that emergency reception can be relatively quick due to the worldwide demand for vaccines, ”he said.
She plans to wait a little longer and ask her doctor about the vaccine at her next medical check-up.
“I just have to be careful for the time being,” he added.