Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine recipients not exempted from pre-event testing: MOH

Individuals in Singapore who received vaccines other than those in the country’s Covid-19 national vaccination programme will still have to undergo pre-event testing (PET), the Ministry of Health (MOH) said.

The ministry explained this is because Covid-19 vaccines that are not part of the national vaccination programme “may not have documented sufficient data on their protection against Covid-19 infection, especially against the Delta variant that is currently circulating”.

At the moment, only Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are approved under the national vaccination programme.

Vaccines not approved under this include the ones from Sinovac, Sinopharm, Johnson & Johnson and Oxford-AstraZeneca.

Sinovac vaccines, however, have been approved under the Special Access Route (SAR), and 24 private clinics have been selected to administer the vaccines.

Doctors are required to inform their patients receiving vaccines under the SAR that they may not be regarded in the same manner as those vaccinated under the national programme, MOH added.

This is so that their patients can weigh the risk versus benefits of proceeding with vaccination using such SAR vaccines.

Currently, attendees and patrons of events, such as weddings, live performances or conferences, who have received complete doses of vaccines approved under the national vaccination programme, and who have had sufficient time to develop sufficient protection, are exempted from PET, according to MOH.

Top image adapted via Sinovac & Lee Hsien Loong/Facebook