Free Sinopharm jabs offered to 1,000 seniors and lower-income S'pore citizens

The Sinopharm vaccine, similar to the Sinovac one, is made of an inactivated virus studded with Sars-CoV-2 spike proteins. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - About 1,000 seniors and citizens in lower-income groups can register for free Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccines offered by Temasek Foundation.

The offer is open on a first-come-first-served basis to Merdeka and Pioneer Generation card holders, as well as those who hold blue and orange Community Health Assist Scheme (Chas) cards.

The Sinopharm vaccine, similar to the Sinovac one, teaches the body to make antibodies against the virus by triggering its immune response.

Those keen may proceed to one of four designated clinics in Kallang, Buona Vista, Bedok and Bukit Batok under the Northeast Medical Group, said Ms Ho Ching, who is on the Temasek Trust board of directors, on Friday (Dec 10) in a post on Facebook.

"With a donation of 3,000 shots, this is enough to support free Sinopharm vaccines for 1,000 people," said Ms Ho, who stepped down from her role as Temasek Holdings' chief executive on Oct 1.

Those above age 21 may participate in a study where blood samples are taken to measure the antibody response of the vaccine, said Ms Ho.

She added that those who take the Sinopharm vaccine will not be covered under the Vaccine Injury Financial Assistance Programme as it is not recognised under the national vaccine programme (NVP).

At the moment, only mRNA vaccines - Pfizer and Moderna - are listed under the NVP.

The Sinopharm vaccine has been offered by private healthcare firms since it was rolled out in August. It is generally priced at just under $100 for two doses.

The Ministry of Health said on Dec 2 that those who have taken their second dose of the Sinopharm or Sinovac vaccine on or before Aug 31 will have to get their third shot by the end of the year if they want to maintain their fully vaccinated status.

About 70,000 people who took these jabs have been sent SMS reminders by the ministry.

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