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Private clinics set to offer Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine in Singapore under special access route

Private clinics set to offer Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine in Singapore under special access route

A medical worker poses with a vial of Sinopharm's COVID-19 vaccine, Jan 19, 2021. (File photo: AP/Darko Vojinovic)

SINGAPORE: The Chinese-made Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine can be administered in Singapore after at least one private healthcare provider received approval under the country's special access route

Responding to CNA’s queries, IHH Healthcare Singapore on Wednesday (Jul 28) said it had obtained the Health Sciences Authority’s (HSA) approval to import the vaccine via the special access route.

“This will give people in Singapore access to another alternative vaccine option,” said Dr Noel Yeo, the company’s chief operating officer.

“Details are still being worked out at the moment. We will make a formal announcement when more information becomes available.”

The special access route allows private healthcare institutions to bring in COVID-19 vaccines that have not been authorised by HSA.

These vaccines must be granted emergency use listing by the World Health Organization (WHO), which the Sinopharm vaccine received on May 7.

Another Chinese-made vaccine by Sinovac was earlier approved under the special access route in June.

READ: Amid demand for Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines, some Singapore healthcare firms looking at importing more non-mRNA shots

At least two other private healthcare institutions are also looking to bring in the Sinopharm vaccine.

Raffles Medical Group asked people to register their interest in the Sinopharm vaccine in a Facebook post on Monday.

Last month, StarMed Specialist Centre told CNA that it was working with another clinic to bring in other vaccine brands such as Sinopharm.

CNA has contacted HSA for comment.

INACTIVATED VIRUS VACCINE

The Sinopharm vaccine uses an inactivated form of the coronavirus, similar to the Sinovac shot.

The WHO has said the 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.

READ: Concessions will be extended to people vaccinated with Sinovac when evidence justifies it, says Ong Ye Kung

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.

Countries that have approved use of the Sinopharm vaccine include China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. It is produced by the Beijing Bio-Institute of Biological Products, a subsidiary of China National Biotech Group.

Singapore has authorised two COVID-19 vaccines by Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty and Moderna, both using messenger RNA technology, for use in the national vaccination programme.

BOOKMARK THIS: Our comprehensive coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic and its developments

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Source: CNA/dv

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