New stock of Sinovac's Covid-19 vaccine to arrive in 4 to 6 weeks; all 200k doses here already allocated

A total of 170,000 doses from the Government's existing stock have already been set aside for 31 approved private healthcare institutions here.
A total of 170,000 doses from the Government's existing stock have already been set aside for 31 approved private healthcare institutions here.PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - The Ministry of Health (MOH) said new stock of Sinovac's Covid-19 vaccine are expected to arrive in the next four to six weeks.

The current 200,000 doses of the Government's stock have already been allocated.

Announcing this on Tuesday (Aug 10), MOH said it has been helping private healthcare institutions here to order further supplies of the vaccine.

A total of 170,000 doses from the Government's existing stock have already been set aside for 31 approved private healthcare institutions here.

This will allow 85,000 people to receive the vaccine free of charge, said MOH, adding that these people will likely all receive their first dose by Aug 12.

The ministry said the remaining 30,000 doses have been reserved for Singaporeans, permanent residents and long-term pass holders who have had allergic reactions to the mRNA vaccines, and for other purposes.

MOH did not specify what these other purposes are.

The two vaccines under the national vaccination programme here, those by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, rely on mRNA technology to teach the body to defend itself against the coronavirus.

Sinovac's vaccine is known as an inactivated virus vaccine, which uses a dead version of the coronavirus to build up the body's immunity against the virus.

MOH said the Health Sciences Authority will continue to evaluate applications to import non-mRNA vaccines under the Special Access Route.

However, it reiterated that vaccines imported under this route will not be subsidised or covered under the Vaccine Injury Financial Assistance Programme.

MOH said: "Individuals who are not contraindicated to mRNA vaccines are strongly encouraged to take mRNA vaccines where possible, given (their) higher efficacy rates."

It added that those who are allergic to mRNA vaccines will continue to be able to receive Sinovac jabs and that MOH would be contacting them to arrange their appointments.