Source: CNA’s video

About 72,000 individuals in Singapore have received at least one dose of the Sinovac jab, with 17,000 people having received their second one, said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung in Parliament on Monday (26 July).

He was responding to Parliamentary questions raised by Members of Parliament (MPs) on the numbers of people who have received the Sinovac vaccine, and whether there are plans to obtain further supplies of the Sinovac vaccine beyond Singapore’s current stock.

Mr Ong noted that of those who have taken the Sinovac vaccine and are over 60 years of age, less than 10 per cent are Singaporeans.

On whether the Government plans to bring in more Sinovac doses into the country, the minister said that “private clinics can bring in additional supply”, as is the case for any other World Health Organisation Emergency Use Listing Procedure vaccine under the special access route.

This is in the event that the supply of 200,000 doses the Government has procured is insufficient to cater to the demand, he noted.

According to the Minister, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has received 10 adverse event reports following vaccination with the Sinovac vaccine as of 9 July.

These adverse events comprise mainly allergic reactions such as itch and rashes.

As for the concessions on safe management measures, Mr Ong noted that the data on the efficacy of the Sinovac vaccine against the Delta variant is “still building up”.

Mr Ong added that Sinovac has recently submitted the required safety data by the HSA, adding that the HSA and expert committee are currently going through the various data.

“When the evidence justifies it, we will certainly want to extend the concessions to individuals who have received the Sinovac or other vaccines which may qualify,” said the Health Minister.

“We are also continually reviewing Singapore’s portfolio of COVID-19 vaccines. We plan to bring in non-mRNA vaccines that are robustly assessed for quality, safety and effectiveness. This should happen before the end of the year, subject to supply and regulatory approval,” he said.

Mr Ong revealed that as of 30 June, the Government has received 12 reports of myocarditis — inflammation of the heart muscle — and pericarditis — inflammation of the lining outside the heart — in individuals who have received an mRNA-based COVID-19 jab.

One of the cases is a full-time national serviceman in the Singapore Armed Forces who is under 30 years of age.

“While there is a small increased risk among those in the younger age groups relative to the baseline rate, the local incidence rate remains low,” he said.

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