Singapore gets first shipment of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine, HSA yet to approve

·Editorial Team
·2-min read
Vials of the Sinovac coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine are pictured at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport before the arrival of a shipment of 200,000 doses from China, in Bangkok, Thailand February 24, 2021. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
Vials of the Sinovac coronavirus disease vaccine are pictured at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport before the arrival of a shipment of 200,000 doses from China on 24 February, 2021. (PHOTO: Reuters)

SINGAPORE — Singapore received its first shipment of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, (23 February), prior to it being authorised by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) for use here.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a press release on Wednesday night that the Beijing-based biopharmaceutical company has started submitting initial data on the vaccine.

The HSA is currently awaiting Sinovac’s submission of all necessary information in order to carry out a thorough scientific assessment of the manufacturing process, safety, and efficacy of the vaccine under the Pandemic Special Access Route, the MOH added.

The Sinovac's CoronaVac, which authorities here have signed advanced purchase agreements for, has been approved for use in countries and territories like Hong Kong, Thailand, and the Philippines.

The ministry also said that it had received another shipment of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

To date, only the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines have been authorised for use in Singapore – they were approved in December and February, respectively.

The first shipment of Moderna vaccines landed in Singapore last Wednesday, earlier than its expected March arrival.

"We will continue to monitor our supplies closely to meet our target of vaccinating all Singaporeans and long-term residents in Singapore by end of 2021," said the MOH.

As of 18 February, about 250,000 individuals here have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Amongst them, more than 110,000 have also received their second dose of the vaccine, and completed the full vaccination regimen.

Education Minister Lawrence Wong, co-chair of the COVID-19 taskforce, last Friday said authorities expect to get the first dose of vaccines out to 1 million more Singaporeans and long-term residents, if "all goes well in March".

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