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Singapore receives its first shipment of Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccine

Singapore receives its first shipment of Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccine

File photo of vials of Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccine. (File photo: Reuters/Athit Perawongmetha)

SINGAPORE: Singapore received its first shipment of Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday (Feb 23), said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Wednesday. 

The vaccine has not been authorised for use in the country, noted MOH, adding that the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) is awaiting the submission of information for its assessment.

"Sinovac has started submitting initial data, and HSA is currently awaiting Sinovac's submission of all the necessary information in order to carry out a thorough scientific assessment of the manufacturing process, safety and efficacy of the vaccine under the Pandemic Special Access Route," said MOH. 

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

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

MOH said Singapore received another shipment of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday. Its first shipment of the vaccine arrived on Dec 21, a week after its approval for use was announced.

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The other approved vaccine is from Moderna. Singapore's first shipment of that vaccine arrived on Feb 17, two weeks after authorities approved it for use here.

"We will continue to monitor our supplies closely to meet our target of vaccinating all Singaporeans and long-term residents in Singapore by end of 2021," said the ministry.

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

Singapore began its COVID-19 vaccination exercise on Dec 30, with healthcare workers at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases the first to get the shots.

The country has since rolled out vaccinations to more groups of people, including the elderly and essential workers like those in the aviation and land transport sectors.

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Source: CNA/dv

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