Singapore — The Ministry of Health has reached out to around 7,100 individuals who had allergic reactions to their first doses of mRNA vaccines, inviting them to receive China’s Sinovac as they cannot have their second dose.
These individuals received vaccines manufactured by Pfizer and Moderna, the two vaccines so far approved for emergency use in Singapore by the Health Sciences Authority.
Sinovac and Sinopharm, another vaccine produced in China, are allowed to be used in Singapore via the special access route. They are administered in private healthcare providers and are paid for by those who wish to receive the vaccines, unlike Pfizer and Moderna jabs, which are free.
TODAY quoted MOH saying that among the people contacted by to receive Sinovac shots, 3,900 have expressed that they are interested in receiving the jab.
Over 1,000 have already got their first Sinovac doses and 570 have got both shots.
“Since the start of Jul, the Ministry of Health has been inviting persons who have received one dose of an mRNA Covid-19 vaccine but are medically unable to receive the second dose due to allergic reactions to receive the Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccine at four public hospital clinics,” MOH told TODAY.
“These individuals will be contacted within a month of being recorded as having an allergic reaction to the mRNA vaccine.”
The Sinovac vaccine is made using an inactivated virus containing Sars-CoV-2 spike proteins that teach the body’s immune system to create antibodies against the virus.
The mRNA vaccines such as Pfizer and Moderna, a part of the coronavirus’ genetic code is injected into a person’s body – this activates the production of viral proteins, but not the whole virus, in order to train the immune system to attack.
But for people who have had allergic reactions including anaphylaxis, or for some who are immunocompromised, mRNA vaccines are not advisable.
From the original shipment of 200,000 Sinovac doses that arrived in Singapore, 30,000 were reserved for those who had allergic reactions to the mRNA vaccines.
In early Aug, MP Gerald Giam (Workers’ Party—Aljunied GRC) asked Health Minister Ong Ye Kung how those who had allergic reactions to their first dose of the Covid vaccine and are prevented from getting their second dose would be able to eventually attain “fully vaccinated” status.
He was answered by Senior Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary, who said that people who received Sinovac jabs due to reactions to the mRNA vaccines would be considered fully vaccinated after their first Sinovac doses.
“In view that the persons participating in the programme would have received three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, they will be regarded as being fully vaccinated.
MOH will work with these individuals to monitor their immunity responses, and better understand such heterologous vaccination strategies,” said MOH, further clarifying the issue. /TISG
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