11 private hospitals and clinics get green light to import Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine: HSA

The HSA has approved 11 applications for private hospitals and clinics to import China's Sinopharm vaccine under the special access route.
The HSA has approved 11 applications for private hospitals and clinics to import China's Sinopharm vaccine under the special access route.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has approved 11 applications for private hospitals and clinics to import China's Sinopharm vaccine under the special access route (SAR).

This means the risks of using such vaccines are "fully borne by the doctor and vaccine recipient", a HSA spokesman said.

The Straits Times reported on Wednesday that several healthcare firms, including Raffles Medical Group and IHH Healthcare - the largest private healthcare provider here - have taken steps to secure doses of the vaccine.

The plan is to administer the first jabs in August.

This will make it the fourth vaccine to be used in Singapore.

The SAR allows private healthcare providers to bring in Covid-19 vaccines that are on the World Health Organisation's Emergency Use Listing.

However, these providers must abide by certain conditions.

For instance, each provider can only bring in a three-month supply of the vaccine, capped at 5,000 doses per month.

They must also report any serious adverse reactions to the HSA within 15 days.

Unlike vaccines administered under the Pandemic Special Access Route framework - such as the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna jabs under the national vaccination programme - vaccines under the SAR are not subsidised by the Government.

They are also not covered under the Vaccine Injury Financial Assistance Programme, which supports people who suffer adverse effects from their Covid-19 jabs.

The Sinovac vaccine is also under the SAR.

As of Wednesday (July 28), Singapore had vaccinated 4.28 million people against the coronavirus.

Of these, 3.21 million had completed the full vaccination regimen.