Singapore’s health ministry has announced China’s Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine has been cleared for use under the city-state’s special access route, after the WHO added the jab to its emergency use listing.
The announcement was made on Wednesday in response to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) decision to add the Sinovac vaccine to its list of jabs that are approved under emergency use listing.
As Singapore has not independently approved the vaccine for use, it will not be included in its national inoculation program at the moment. However, the Ministry of Health is looking at ways to allow private healthcare firms to use the area’s stock of the Chinese-manufactured jabs.
The ministry is still in the process of establishing “details on pricing, informed consent process and safety of the patients who prefer to be administered with Sinovac vaccine,” with this expected in the near future.
Singapore received 200,000 doses of Sinovac in March, having ordered the vaccine last year. These doses have been sitting in storage since their arrival while the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) completes its review of the vaccine before formally approving it for use. The HSA’s evaluation has been delayed while Singapore awaits more detailed trial data from the Chinese-based manufacturer.
Singapore’s Pandemic Special Access Route allows the HSA to provide early access to vaccines, medicines and medical equipment that can be used to fight pandemics, including the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak.
Currently, Singapore’s health ministry has only approved the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna jabs for use in its inoculation program. Although the AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Sinopharm vaccines have all been granted special access for private institutions.
As of May 31, Singapore’s Ministry of Health had administered 4,047,651 doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, and 1.7 million people have been fully inoculated against the virus. The territory of 5 million people has largely managed to contain the coronavirus, with 62,069 cases and 33 deaths since the pandemic began.
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