International COVID 19 Lim Tean: No basis to discriminate against Singaporeans who choose vaccine

Lim Tean: No basis to discriminate against Singaporeans who choose Sinovac vaccine

Chinese vaccine should be given free of charge like Pfizer and Moderna, he says

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Singapore—Lawyer and opposition leader Lim Tean questioned in a Facebook post on Friday (June 4) why from China are not part of Singapore’s vaccine programme.

He made no bones about his opinion that this should not be the case, arguing that Singaporeans should be given the choice of vaccine that they want, and should not be discriminated against if they choose Sinovac.

On Monday (May 31), the Ministry of Health said that private healthcare institutions may bring in unregistered Covid through the special access route.

On the following day, June 1, the World Health Organization approved Sinovac for emergency use.

When Singapore began rolling out its vaccine programme late last year, only mRNA vaccines from Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna had been approved for use in the country by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA).

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But for people with severe allergic reactions including anaphylaxis, or for those who are immunocompromised, mRNA vaccines are not advisable.

Singapore already has a stock of Sinovac vaccines, which have not been included under the national vaccine programme and will therefore need to be paid for by people who wish to avail of the shots.

MOH said on Wednesday (June 2), “We are also studying the possibility for the private healthcare institutions to access our current stock of 200,000 doses, and work out details on pricing, informed consent process and safety of the patients who prefer to be administered with Sinovac-CoronaVac under the SAR.”

According to Mr Lim, the leader of People’s Voice party, this is “wrong.”

He wrote in his post, “Wrong For Sinovac Not To Be Part Of National Vaccine Programme!”

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Mr Lim added that he failed to understand why individuals who choose Sinovac must pay, while others get the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines free of charge.

He added that the Sinovac vaccine has proved effective in other countries.

“The Sinovac vaccine has had great success in countries such as China and Indonesia. It is also far more suitable for those who suffer from severe allergic reactions and for whom the mRNA vaccines may not be suitable.”

Given the WHO’s approval for Sinovac’s emergency use, “there is absolutely no basis to discriminate against those who wish to have this vaccine instead of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines”.

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He added that Sinovac should be included in Singapore’s vaccine programme and that individuals who get the Sinovac shots should be also covered under the vaccine financial assistance programme.

“People must have a choice!” he wrote.

The People’s Voice leader also brought up Sputnik, a vaccine from Russia.

If Sputnik were also to be approved by the WHO, he “would go for that”, wrote Mr Lim, adding, “Heard it enjoys a very high efficiency rate ( the last I heard a few months ago it was around 91% ).

“We are in the Internet age and people should have the right to make their own choice of which vaccine to take in order to keep themselves safe!” he wrote.

/TISG

 Read also: Calvin Cheng calls Govt’s pre-order of Sinovac vaccine “a failed gamble”

Calvin Cheng calls Govt’s pre-order of Sinovac vaccine “a failed gamble”

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