SINGAPORE: A total of 11 private healthcare providers in Singapore have been granted approval to bring in the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine.
The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said on Friday (Jul 30) that as of Jul 28, it had approved 11 applications for private hospitals and clinics to bring in the China-made vaccine via the special access route.
"The risks of using COVID-19 vaccines approved under (the special access route) are fully borne by the doctor and vaccine recipient," added HSA, replying to CNA's queries.
Under the special access route, private healthcare providers can apply to bring in COVID-19 vaccines that have not been authorised by HSA under the pandemic special access route (PSAR). So far, only the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines have been granted approval under PSAR.
Vaccines that are brought in under the special access route must be granted emergency use listing by the World Health Organization (WHO), which the Sinopharm vaccine received on May 7.
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CNA reported on Jul 28 that IHH Healthcare Singapore said it had obtained HSA's approval to import the vaccine.
At least two other private healthcare institutions, Raffles Medical Group and StarMed Specialist Centre, were also looking to bring in the Sinopharm vaccine.
CNA has contacted Sinopharm for comment.
The Sinopharm vaccine uses an inactivated form of the coronavirus, similar to the Sinovac shot.
The Sinopharm vaccine has 79 per cent efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19 infection as well as hospitalisation from the disease, according to the results of a large multi-country phase three trial. It is produced by the Beijing Bio-Institute of Biological Products, a subsidiary of China National Biotech Group.
The vaccine comprises two doses administered with an interval of three to four weeks, and is recommended for use in people aged 18 and above.
In June, the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced that the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine can be administered in Singapore under the special access route, after it was granted emergency use by the WHO.