SINGAPORE - Those who have taken the Sinovac, Sinopharm, Johnson & Johnson, Covishield or AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines will be eligible for vaccination-differentiated safe management measures from next Tuesday (Aug 10).
Anyone will be considered to be fully vaccinated two weeks after they have received the full regimen of Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty, Moderna, or any vaccines listed on the World Health Organisation's (WHO) Emergency Use Listing (EUL), Health Minister Ong Ye Kung announced on Friday (Aug 6) at a virtual press conference.
Other than the Pfizer and Moderna jabs, there are currently five additional vaccines approved under the WHO EUL - AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Sinopharm, Sinovac and Covishield.
So far, only the two highly effective mRNA vaccines - Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty - have been used in Singapore's national vaccination programme, are counted towards the national statistics, and are eligible for concessions on testing and safe management measures.
This is because the effectiveness of different vaccines vary.
So, at the initial stage, when most of the population was unvaccinated, it was important to get people inoculated with the most effective vaccines, Mr Ong said.
However, with Singapore's vaccination coverage now increased to around 70 per cent, Singapore is collectively more resilient.
"What is important now is the difference between those who are vaccinated and not vaccinated, and less so between different vaccines... so MOH will recognise all Covid-19 vaccines in the WHO EUL," Mr Ong said.
A more inclusive approach can now be taken in recognising other vaccines beyond the two mRNA ones, he added.
"WHO is a widely accepted reference organisation. It sets a 50 per cent vaccine effectiveness threshold for listing in the EUL, so there is some assurance of a minimum and verified standard."
To qualify for EUL status, vaccine manufacturers must submit their clinical trial data transparently for independent assessment.