by Harry Wu
Finally, for some people who are not suitable or unwilling to get m-RNA based COVID-19 vaccine in Singapore, Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine was given emergency approval by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 1 June 2021.
The COVID-19 vaccine by Sinovac uses an inactivated virus, which is a rather mature technology widely used in seasonal flu vaccines.
Sinovac, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Moderna were secured by the Singapore government last year via Advance Purchase Agreements. Of course, by taxpayer’s money.
However, the country’s Health Science Authority (HSA) has yet to approve the use of Sinovac’s vaccine under its national program, and no reason was revealed since WHO validates Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use and issues interim policy recommendations.
Despite reported alleged low efficacy compared with m-RNA based vaccine, the latter really did not perform well in Singapore reality.
Many people received m-RNA based vaccine still developed rather symptomatic COVID-19 disease, or even became super spreader. COVID case 62933 completed two doses of Pfizer vaccine on 16 February 2021, and later diagnosed with B1617 variant on 7 May 2021.
It was reported by The Strait Times sourcing information from the Ministry of Health (MOH) that she might be the source of Westgate and Jem COVID-19 cluster, which grows to 60 COVID cases by 26 May 2021 – one of the largest since Singapore introduced its m-RNA COVID-19 vaccine.
So how to get the Sinovac vaccine since it is not approved in Singapore?
Don’t worry, MOH has kindly introduced Pandemic Special Access Route (SAR) to allow WHO approved vaccines to be used in Singapore through private sectors.
There are so many benefits about granting the SAR. For instance, certain people can buy the vaccine they wish to use.
It is also super good for the economy. By selling the vaccine to private health providers, then subsequently selling to the member of public, this is doubling the vaccine health GDP.
But wait, who is paying for it? Of course, your taxpayers!
So now, maybe you can tell your own story about how do you feel if you have to pay twice to get your ideal COVID-19 vaccine in Singapore?
This is an opinion piece from a member of the public, and does not reflect TOC’s position on any matter.