Those given Sinovac, Sinopharm or AstraZeneca jabs counted as fully vaccinated from 10 Aug

SINGAPORE — From next Tuesday (10 August), those in Singapore who receive COVID-19 jabs that are not under the national programme but are under the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) emergency use listing will also be recognised as fully-vaccinated two weeks after completing the vaccine regimen.

This means that those who received shots made by AstraZeneca, Covishield, Janssen or Johnson & Johnson, Sinopharm, and Sinovac will be eligible for the vaccination-differentiated safe management measures and be counted under Singapore's daily vaccination numbers, said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung on Friday (6 August) during a virtual multi-ministry press conference.

"As our vaccination coverage increases...we are collectively more resilient, the consideration will change. What is important now is the difference between those vaccinated and non-vaccinated, and less so between different vaccines," said Ong.

The more "inclusive approach" in recognising these vaccines also stems from "some assurance of a minimum and verified standard" as the WHO sets a 50 per cent vaccine effectiveness threshold for those included under its emergency use listing, he added.

However, the vaccines will not be covered under Singapore's vaccine injury financial assistance programme (VIFAP), which provides financial aid to those who suffer from serious side effects after receiving their jabs.

The VIFAP "is specifically tied to our national vaccination programme" covering those who have received the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty or Moderna jabs here, noted Ong.

Singapore has been administering 60,000 to 70,000 doses of the two vaccines a day for the past couple of weeks, with up to 90 per cent of which are second doses.

As of Thursday, over 78 per cent of Singapore's population has received at least a first dose, and almost two-thirds have received two doses, said Ong, noting that Singapore has "pretty much achieved the target that we have set for National Day".

"Based on this trajectory, we are confident that more than 70 per cent of us would have received our full vaccination regimen by National Day. This makes us one of the most highly vaccinated countries in the world," he added.

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