SINGAPORE - Seven more private healthcare clinics will be offering the Sinovac vaccine, bringing the total to 31.
These additional providers can draw on government stock and administer jabs to Singapore citizens, permanent residents and those holding long-term passes.
The seven new clinics are the HeartlandHealth clinics in Circuit Road and New Upper Changi Road, Icon Cancer Centre Mount Alvernia, Icon Health Screening, the Pinnacle Family Clinics in Woodlands and Yew Tee, and Thomson GP Clinic in Balestier Road.
The fees for administering one dose of the vaccine at these clinics range from $20 to $25, and they cover consultation costs, administration and taxes.
"Since June 18, the initial 24 selected clinics have been providing the Sinovac vaccine in a cautious manner," the Health Ministry said on Friday (July 2). "Some of the group clinics... are now ready to ramp up their services to help improve the wait times for individuals."
The increased demand prompted the Ministry of Health (MOH) to activate the additional seven clinics, which will help clear waiting lists at the 24 existing clinics, but they may not take in new appointments for people wanting the Sinovac vaccine.
People are advised to call the clinics or visit their websites to book an appointment. Anyone walking in without an appointment will be turned away.
The MOH noted that the Sinovac vaccine remains unregistered and has not undergone full evaluation for its safety and efficacy. This means it will not be covered under the Vaccine Injury Financial Assistance Programme meant for vaccines under the national vaccination programme.
"Individuals who wish to receive the Sinovac vaccine should discuss its risks and benefits with their doctors," the ministry said.
The MOH grants exemptions from pre-event testing to those fully vaccinated with the two vaccines under the national programme, as studies show that these people have a lower risk of being infected and, in turn, passing on the infection.
"However, there is insufficient international data thus far on the effectiveness of the Sinovac vaccine against the Delta variant. Hence pre-event testing continues to be needed for individuals vaccinated with the Sinovac vaccine," it added.
Singapore's national vaccination regime currently uses the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty and Moderna vaccines, which tap mRNA technology.
The MOH plans to bring in other non-mRNA vaccines before the end of the year, with more details out later.