SINGAPORE - News that the Government's stock of 200,000 doses of Sinovac Covid-19 vaccines here is running low has prompted offers to buy vaccination slots on consumer marketplace Carousell.
A check by The Straits Times on Wednesday (Aug 18) showed four bidders dangling between $50 and $80 to buy the slots. They were posted from Thursday last week.
It is unclear if any transaction has taken place. ST has reached out to the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Health Sciences Authority on the legality of such deals.
MOH has allowed 31 private healthcare institutions to offer the vaccine under the Special Access Route.
Those interested have to call the clinics or visit the healthcare institutions' websites to book an appointment. Walk-in patients are turned away.
MOH had on Aug 10 announced that Sinovac stocks here were being depleted, but added it was facilitating private healthcare institutions to order more supplies.
Stocks are expected to arrive in the next four to six weeks.
The Sinovac vaccine is not included in Singapore's national vaccination programme.
One of the bidders on Carousell said his family member is unable to receive messenger ribonucleuc acid (mRNA) vaccines, such as the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty and Moderna vaccines, under the national vaccination programme due to a medical reason.
In the Aug 10 statement, MOH said that the 31 approved private healthcare institutions had 170,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine for 85,000 individuals.
"After ringfencing sufficient doses for individuals coming for second doses of the Sinovac vaccine, the stock for the 31 approved private healthcare institutions will be depleted," it said.
It added that the remaining 30,000 doses of the Government's stock were reserved for Singapore citizens, permanent residents and long-term pass holders who had allergic reactions to the mRNA vaccines, and for other purposes.