HSA starts review of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine

HSA starts review of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine

FILE PHOTO: Media tour at Chinese vaccine maker Sinovac Biotech in Beijing
A worker performs a quality check of the Sinovac Biotech COVID-19 vaccine during a government-organised media tour in Beijing, China, Sep 24, 2020. (File photo: REUTERS/Thomas Peter)

SINGAPORE: The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said on Monday (Mar 22) it has started reviewing data on China's Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine.

It has also asked the biopharmaceutical company for additional data and is waiting for it, said HSA in response to CNA queries.

Singapore received its first shipment of the Sinovac vaccine on Feb 23. HSA said then that Sinovac had started submitting initial data, and that it was awaiting the submission of all necessary information to carry out its assessment.

The vaccine developed by China's Sinovac Biotech has been approved for general use in China, and is already in use in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.

In Singapore, the Sinovac vaccine is being evaluated but has not yet been authorised for use, said HSA.

"HSA has requested from the company additional data required to assess if it can meet the required standards for quality, safety and efficacy for interim authorisation under the Pandemic Special Access Route, and is still waiting for the company to submit the data," said the authority.

READ: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Sinovac – A look at three key COVID-19 vaccines

On Monday, HSA said that it has also been in talks with various companies, including AstraZeneca, on their submission plans for COVID-19 vaccines.

"All vaccines are rigorously evaluated by HSA on their quality, safety and efficacy before they are approved for use in Singapore," said the authority.

READ: EU, UK drug regulators rally behind AstraZeneca vaccine after safety concerns

More than a dozen countries suspended the use of AstraZeneca vaccines earlier this month, after reports of blood clotting among some recipients in Europe.

Many countries – including France, Germany and Indonesia – have since said they will resume use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, after an investigation by the European Medicines Agency concluded that the benefits outweighed the risks.

READ: AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is 'haram', but permissible due to urgent situation – Indonesia Islamic body

Singapore has so far authorised two COVID-19 vaccines for use.

The country started its vaccination drive in December with the Pfizer-BioNTech jab, the first vaccine to arrive in Singapore.

Moderna's vaccine was approved for use in early February, with the first shipment arriving two weeks later.

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Source: CNA/dv

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