Singapore has received its first shipment of China’s Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday (23 Feb), but the vaccine has yet to be approved for use in the country, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Wednesday (24 Feb).
Singapore had first received the Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine in December last year, which is the first vaccine that was authorized for use in the country.
The second approved vaccine is from Moderna, with the first shipment arrived in Singapore on 17 Feb.
On Wednesday, MOH noted that the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) is awaiting Sinovac’s submission of information for “a thorough scientific assessment” of the vaccine.
“Sinovac has started submitting initial data, and HSA is currently awaiting Sinovac’s submission of all the necessary information in order to carry out a thorough scientific assessment of the manufacturing process, safety and efficacy of the vaccine under the Pandemic Special Access Route,” it stated.
In comparison, both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use messenger RNA technology to trigger an immune response, whilst the Sinovac vaccine uses inactivated vaccine technology – which makes use of killed virus particles – to produce an immune response.
The Chinese Embassy took to Facebook assuring that the delivery of the vaccine will contribute to Singapore’s efforts to defeat the virus and restore “normal order of life” and economic development.
“The arrival of the vaccine delivered Chinese President Xi Jinping’s announcement to make Chinese vaccine a global public good, implemented the consensus made by the leaders of China and Singapore on strengthening cooperation against the epidemic, and added a new highlight to the bilateral cooperation,” it noted.