After the news that the Singapore Government’s stock of 200,000 doses of Sinovac Covid-19 vaccines is depleting broke out, many people were provoked to purchase vaccination slots on consumer marketplace like Carousell.
We at Asiaone have researched and we saw four bidders ranging from $50 to $80 to purchase the vaccination slots. The bids were posted from Thursday last week on August 12.
It is unknown if any of the transactions were made. We contacted the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Health Sciences Authority to confirm if these deals are legal.
Private Vaccine Access
Under the Special Access Route, MOH has permitted 31 private healthcare institutions to provide the Sinovac vaccine.
Those people who like to be vaccinated have to contact the institutions themselves or go to the healthcare institutions’ websites to schedule an appointment. Walk-in patients are typically not allowed and will not be entertained.
Stocks Are Running Out
According to an announcement of MOH on August 10, the Sinovac stocks in Singapore are running out, however, they are urging the private clinics to order more supplies.
In the next four to six weeks, Sinovac stocks are expected to come. The Sinovac vaccine is not on the list of vaccines under the national vaccination program.
Due to a medical condition, one of the Carousell bidders stated that his family member is unable to get messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) vaccines such as the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty and Moderna vaccines as part of the national vaccination program.
Allocation of Sinovac
MOH stated that the 31 approved private healthcare clinics had 170,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine for 85,000 people, said in the Aug 10 statement.
“After ringfencing sufficient doses for individuals coming for second doses of the Sinovac vaccine, the stock for the 31 approved private healthcare institutions will be depleted,” said the MOH announcement.
The MOH also added that the 30,000 doses of Singapore’s stock of Sinovac were reserved for senior citizens, permanent residents in the country, and long-term pass holders who are unable to receive mRNA vaccines due to allergic reactions and for other purposes.
However, the MOH did not specify exactly what these other purposes are.
The current 200,000 doses of the government stocks of the Sinovac vaccines were already administered. According to the MOH, new stocks of Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccines will be replenished as new stocks arrive in the next four to six weeks.
Not Part of the Vaccination Program
There are two Covid-19 vaccines that are under the national vaccination program in Singapore; those which are from Moderna and those which are from Pfizer-BioNTech. These two vaccines use mRNA technology to assist the body to defend itself against the Covid-19 virus.
Sinovac’s vaccine is known as an inactivated virus vaccine. Basically, it relies on the utilization of a dead coronavirus material to build the immunity of the body to fight against the coronavirus.
The Health Sciences Authority will remain to assess applications to import non-mRNA vaccines via the Special Access Route.
However, MOH also noted that the imported vaccines utilized in this route will not be subsidized by the government or covered under the Vaccine Injury Financial Assistance Program, therefore it will not be free.
“Individuals who are not contraindicated to mRNA vaccines are strongly encouraged to take mRNA vaccines where possible, given their higher efficacy rates,” MOH added.
As of now, there is no update regarding the exact date of the arrival of the Sinovac vaccines to replenish the depleting stocks but we are hoping that it will be enough this time.
We are expecting the arrival of imported Sinovac vaccines in the next four to six weeks, and we will give you a Singapore news update until then.