Concessions will be extended to people vaccinated with Sinovac when evidence justifies it, says Ong Ye Kung
SINGAPORE: Concessions on safe management measures will be extended to people vaccinated with Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccine when there is enough evidence to justify it, said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung in Parliament on Monday (Jul 26).
"The data on the efficacy of the Sinovac vaccine against the Delta variant is still building up," said Mr Ong, noting that Sinovac recently submitted the required safety data for its application for approval under the Pandemic Special Access Route.
Currently, only the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty and Moderna mRNA vaccines are approved under the Pandemic Special Access Route for use in Singapore's national vaccination programme.
The Sinovac vaccine is currently allowed to be administered in Singapore under the special access route, after it was approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO).
"The Health Sciences Authority and our expert committee are going through the various data. When the evidence justifies it, we will certainly want to extend the concessions to individuals who have received the Sinovac or other vaccines which may qualify," said Mr Ong.
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Authorities previously said that there will be differentiated safe management measures for people vaccinated under the national programme.
For instance, before going back to Phase 2 (Heightened Alert), authorities announced that people who are fully vaccinated may be allowed to gather in groups of up to eight, while the five-person limit will apply to those who are not fully vaccinated under the national programme.
Those who have received the Sinovac vaccine also do not count towards the national vaccination targets. This is because there is still “little data” on the vaccine’s efficacy against COVID-19 variants of concern, said the Health Ministry's director of medical services Associate Professor Kenneth Mak earlier this month.
As of Jul 25, about 72,000 people have received at least one dose of the Sinovac vaccine, and about 17,000 individuals have received their second doses, Mr Ong said.
Among them, 28 per cent are Singaporeans and they are "mostly" young, he added.
"For those who have taken the Sinovac vaccine and are seniors above 60 years old, only ... less than 10 per cent are Singaporeans," he said.
As of Jul 9, HSA received 10 reports of adverse events after vaccination with Sinovac, comprising “mainly allergic reactions such as itch and rashes”, said the Health Minister.
He added that if the supply of 200,000 doses that the Government procured is insufficient to cater to the demand for Sinovac vaccines, private clinics can bring in additional supplies.