Sinovac COVID vaccine approved for use in Singapore: MOH

BEIJING, CHINA - JUNE 01: An employee works on the production line of COVID-19 vaccine at a workshop of the Beijing-based Sinovac Life Sciences Co. Ltd., affiliated with Sinovac Biotech, on June 1, 2021 in Beijing, China. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)
An employee works on the production line of COVID-19 vaccine at a workshop of the Beijing-based Sinovac Life Sciences, affiliated with Sinovac Biotech, on 1 June, 2021, in Beijing, China. (PHOTO: VCG via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Authorities confirmed on Wednesday (2 June) that China's Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine can be administered in Singapore under the special access route for private healthcare providers, a day after it was approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Under the route, private healthcare providers in Singapore can import and administer alternative COVID-19 vaccines to address unmet medical needs, the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced on Monday.

Only those on the WHO's emergency use listing will be allowed for use here under the route, including Oxford-AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and Sinopharm.

Sinovac's CoronaVac is the second Chinese vaccine to be authorised by the WHO for emergency use, following Sinopharm listing, approved about a month ago.

Vaccines imported under the special access route in Singapore will not be subsidised and those taking them will not be eligible for the vaccine injury financial assistance programme for COVID-19 vaccination.

To date, only the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have been approved for use in Singapore's national vaccination drive. CoronaVac has yet to be approved by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) for such usage, despite Singapore receiving the first shipment of some 200,000 doses of the vaccine in February.

Health minister and COVID-19 taskforce co-chair Ong Ye Kung on Monday had said that licensed health care institutions can apply to the MOH to draw on Singapore's existing stock of 200,000 Sinovac doses to administer to those who wish to have it.

However, the Health Ministry has since clarified that it is still assessing this.

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