Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccine is approved under the Special Access Route (SAR), according to the Ministry of Health (MOH) yesterday.
This follows the announcement by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday that it has approved the shot 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 vaccine made in China is not part of the national program, those who choose to receive it may not be eligible for the Vaccine Injury Financial Assistance Program if they have to develop any adverse reactions.
MOH said it will release more details in the coming days on how private healthcare institutions can apply to become licensed providers of the Sinovac vaccine.
It works out pricing details, process informed consent and safety of patients who want to take the Sinovac shot.
Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said on Monday that licensed healthcare institutions could apply to the MOH to get Singapore’s stockpile of 200,000 doses of the vaccine, which was shipped earlier this year.
However, the MOH clarified yesterday that it is still a possibility that it will be investigated.
It said that if there is more international and local evidence and data available, the MOH expert committee on Covid-19 vaccination is also reviewing current bans to allow people with known anaphylaxis to be able to. inoculate with Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.
Both messenger RNA (mRNA) is used to teach the body to protect itself from Covid-19, while Sinovac’s vaccine uses an inactive form of the coronavirus.
Private health providers say they are awaiting guidance and more information from authorities, with some still investigating whether to offer any vaccine under the SAR.
But for some members of the public, the announcement came a few days later.
Retired Goh Lam Woo, 83, waited several months to receive the Sinovac vaccine. But with the worsening pandemic disease, he decided to take Pfizer-BioNTech last week while with his wife, taking his jab.
“I feel a little disappointed,” he said of the WHO’s approval of the WHO vaccine.
He said he refused to take the mRNA vaccines because it was a “new product”, and they would have wanted to take the Sinovac shot because he considered it a “real vaccine”, similar to the one used. against the flu, measles or polio.
“(Pfizer-BioNTech) can’t tell you what the effects will be a year down the road, what your organs will do,” he said.
Some were not attracted in the hope of getting the Sinovac shot. Ms Spring Victoria Zaccheus said she was unlikely to choose Sinovac’s shot 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 had drug allergies that could cause “severe inflammation” in his eyes and could jeopardize such a reaction to mRNA vaccines, he said: hours rather than just 30 minutes, if something will happen. “
Retiree Madam Toh, 80, who declined to give her full name, said she was unable to get the mRNA vaccines because of her history of anaphylaxis. She plans to wait a little longer and ask her doctor about Sinovac’s options at her next medical check-up.
“They never knew what allergies could be causing a reaction to Sinovac’s vaccine. I suspect that emergency reception may have been quickly brought about by the worldwide demand for vaccines,” he said. “I just have to be careful in the meantime.”
• Additional reporting by Linette Lai