Singapore talking to AstraZeneca about vaccine

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FILE PHOTO: A doctor is vaccinated at Gleneagles hospital during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Singapore

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore's health authority said on Monday it was in talks with AstraZeneca about its coronavirus vaccine and had sought more information from Sinovac Biotech prior to using it vaccine for its immunisation drive.

Many Asian countries are now accelerating the rollout of AstraZeneca's vaccine despite a brief scare in Europe, where many countries temporarily halted its deployment over reports that it was linked to blood clotting.

"The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) had been in communication with various companies including AstraZeneca on their submission plans for COVID-19 vaccines," the authority said in a statement, adding that all vaccines are rigorously evaluated.

Singapore, a regional travel and business hub of about 5.7 million people, has reported few cases in recent months due largely to its strict containment measures.

It has so far been using the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, with 792,423 doses administered so far.

Singapore took delivery of unspecified number of doses of Sinovac's CoronaVac last month, but has yet to grant it emergency use authorisation

The health authority said it had requested more information from Sinovac "to assess if it can meet the required standards for quality, safety and efficacy", without elaborating.

(Reporting by Chen Lin; Editing by Martin Petty)