SINGAPORE — The Singapore government is continuing to assess the use of the Sinovac Biotech COVID-19 vaccine, with its current stock having a shelf life of two years, said a Ministry of Health (MOH) official on Tuesday (18 May).
"The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) continues its evaluation with a view towards hopefully approving it for use on Singaporeans. But they still have a few outstanding items of information they require from the manufacturer in order to be assured that the vaccine is both safe and effective," said MOH's director of medical services Kenneth Mak at a multi-ministry taskforce press conference.
Mak was responding to a question on why Singapore has yet to approve the use of the Sinovac vaccine.
The Republic received its first shipment of the Beijing-based pharmaceutical's Sinovac vaccine, also known as CoronaVac, in February, with some 200,000 doses delivered. It has yet to be approved for use by the Health Sciences Authority.
"The manufacturer has advised us that the vaccine has a shelf life of up to two years so that's what we have in mind at this point in time in terms of the shelf life and expiry of the Sinovac vaccines that were already delivered to us," said Associate Professor Mak.
He also noted that the HSA is monitoring how other countries have been using the vaccine and looking to see if the information it has obtained can be used as part of its own evaluation.
Assoc Prof Mak said the World Health Organisation (WHO) is also in the process of evaluating the vaccine and may come to a decision "very soon" on whether to approve it for use as part of the WHO's global vaccination programmes.
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