COVID-19 vaccination in Singapore

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COVID-19 vaccination in Singapore
Date30 December 2020 (2020-12-30) – present
LocationSingapore
CauseCOVID-19 pandemic in Singapore
Participants10,429,094 total doses administered[1][a]

COVID-19 vaccination in Singapore is an ongoing immunisation campaign against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), in response to the ongoing pandemic in the country. As of 16 October 2021, Singapore has administrated a total of 9,626,233 doses under its national vaccination programme.[1]

Background

Total number of people who have received vaccinations in Singapore as of 16 October 2021

  Unvaccinated population: 967,482 (12.6%)
  Population who are fully vaccinated under the NVP: 4,557,917[1] (84.0%)
  Population who have received only one dose of a two-dose vaccine (NVP): 60,863[1] (1.5%)
  Population who have received vaccines under the WHO EUL: 117,738[1] (2.0%)

The Singapore Government invested more than one billion Singapore dollars to sign advanced purchase agreements and made early down payments on promising vaccine candidates, such as Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna and CoronaVac.[2]

Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination

Singapore Government appointed a 14-member Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination on 5 October 2020, which was to advise and assess on the efficacy and safety of COVID-19 vaccines for use in Singapore.[3] On 24 December 2020, the Expert Committee submitted its recommendations on the overall vaccination strategy of Singapore to the government.[4] In its recommendations, they highlighted that two groups of people had to be priortised for vaccination: people who are at high risk of infection, the frontline healthcare workers; and people who are vulnerable of severe diseases and complications from infections, the elderly.[4] The Committee continued to advise on the use of vaccines as the pandemic continues. It recommended booster shots for people above 60 of age as evidence of declining effacy of vaccination over time emerged,[5] and updated recommendations for those with mild skin reactions after first dosage to continue their vaccination programme.[6]

2020

On 14 December 2020, Singapore became the first Asian country to approve Pfizer-BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine.[7] The first shipment of the vaccine arrived 7 days later on 21 December.[8][9]

Singapore also received its first shipment of China's Sinovac vaccine, on 22 December 2020. However, the vaccine was not authorised for use by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA).[10][11] On 2 June 2021, MOH approved the Sinovac vaccine for used in private healthcare settings so people, who are not suitable to take the mRNA vaccines, can take the Sinovac vaccine. However, since the China-made vaccine is not part of the national programme, those who choose to receive it will not be eligible for the Vaccine Injury Financial Assistance Programme (VIFAP) should they develop any adverse reactions.[12][13][14]

On 30 December 2020, Singapore became the first country in Asia to start its COVID-19 vaccination campaign. The vaccine is free for all Singaporeans and long-term residents. Health workers, other frontline workers and seniors were the first inoculated with the vaccine jointly developed by BioNTech and Pfizer.[15]

2021

On 3 February 2021, Singapore also became the first country in Asia to approve Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine, jointly developed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), and Moderna.[16]

On 18 May, the Health Ministry announced that those who register for COVID-19 vaccination from 19 May onwards will have their second dose scheduled six to eight weeks after the first, instead of three to four weeks later.[17] This change in strategy was aimed to have 400,000 more people in Singapore to be given at least one vaccine dose by end-July so that virtually all eligible Singapore residents will get at least one dose by early August.[18][19] However, as vaccine supplies continue to arrive as planned and most of the population who are willing to take the vaccine will have received their first dose by the second half of July, MOH announced on 29 June that the interval between the first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine would revert to four weeks. This was part of the efforts to ensure that more of the population will be fully vaccinated earlier.[20][21] On 9 July, it was announced that the interval between doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine would be further shortened to 3 weeks.[22] It was further added that those who had previously taken a vaccine not approved under the National Vaccination Programme would be advised to take 2 doses of the approved ones.[23]

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) also approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for children aged 12 to 15; previously, it was given only to those aged 16 years and above. It was granted interim authorization by the HSA under the Pandemic Special Access Route in December 2020.[19][24][25]

On 24 June, the Health Ministry concluded a purchase agreement with Novavax for its non-mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, with shipments expected to arrive in Singapore before the end of 2021.[26]

On 28 July, IHH Healthcare Singapore obtained approval to import Sinopharm's BBIBP-CorV vaccine via the special access route (SAR).[27] The SAR was set up on 31 May to allow individuals to choose vaccines not under the national inoculation program.[28]

On 2 August, Senior Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary announced in Parliament that those who suffered allergic reactions after receiving the first dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine will be invited to receive the Sinovac CoronaVac vaccine and will be deemed as fully vaccinated individuals.[29]

On 6 August, the Health Ministry announced it shall recognise all COVID-19 vaccines listed under the Emergency Use Listing (EUL) by the World Health Organization (WHO) starting from 10 August 2021. This means that Singapore recognises all individuals that have been inoculated with a WHO-approved vaccine as fully vaccinated individuals and shall be accorded vaccination-differentiated safe management measures and travel concessions.[30]

On 20 September, an additional 101,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine was delivered.[31]

Booster shots

Singapore started the rolling out of booster shots for senior citizens above 60 years of age from 14 September 2021.[32] Subsequently, from 4 October, it will start giving booster shots for the eligible population above 50 years of age. The eligible population should have their second dose taken before 6 months.[33]

Recognition of vaccine certificates

On 19 August 2021, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) shall issue a tamper-proof vaccination sticker that is to be pasted onto their travel documents and can serve as proof of vaccination. The issuance of this special sticker will be limited to travelers who have been vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine under the Emergency Use Listing (EUL) by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the presentation of a valid English-language vaccination certificate.[34]

On 24 September 2021, Malaysian National Recovery Council chairman Muhyiddin Yassin confirmed that Malaysia and Singapore would recognise each other's vaccination certificates in order to facilitate travel between the two countries.[35]

Vaccines used

Vaccines delivered per pharmaceutical company as of 18 October 2021 [refresh]

  Moderna (962,127) (22.65%)
  Pfizer-BioNTech (3,085,524) (72.64%)
  Sinovac (301,000) (4.71%)

National vaccination programme

Vaccine Progress Doses ordered Approval Deployment Manufacturer Remarks
Pfizer–BioNTech/Comirnaty Approved for use unknown Green check.svg 14 December 2020 (EUA) Green check.svg 30 December 2020 United StatesGermany Pfizer and BioNTech -
Moderna Approved for use unknown Green check.svg 3 February 2021 (EUA) Green check.svg 17 March 2021 United States Moderna -
Novavax Phase III trials unknown Pending Pending United States Novavax -

Special access route

Vaccine Progress Doses ordered Approval Deployment Manufacturer Remarks
CoronaVac Partially approved 301,000 Yellow check.svg 2 June 2021 (EUA) Green check.svg 4 June 2021 China Sinovac -
BBIBP-CorV Partially approved unknown Yellow check.svg 28 July 2021 (EUA) Green check.svg 30 August 2021 China Sinopharm -
Johnson&Johnson/Janssen Partially approved unknown Yellow check.svg 10 August 2021 (EUA) Pending United StatesBelgiumNetherlands Janssen -
Oxford-AstraZeneca[36] Partially approved unknown Yellow check.svg 10 August 2021 (EUA) Pending United KingdomSweden AstraZeneca -

Notes

  1. ^ 9,626,233 under the national vaccination programme, 4,618,780 of which have received at least the first dose, 4,557,917 have been fully vaccinated, and 577,069 have received their booster shots; 225,792 (117,738 individuals) under the WHO's emergency use list.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e "COVID-19 Vaccination". www.moh.gov.sg.
  2. ^ "Securing Singapore's access to COVID-19 vaccines". www.gov.sg. Retrieved 28 April 2021.
  3. ^ hermesauto (12 November 2020). "Top experts in healthcare, science appointed to committee to make recommendations on Singapore's Covid-19 vaccination strategy". The Straits Times. Retrieved 22 September 2021.
  4. ^ a b "COVID-19: Government accepts committee's recommendations on vaccine strategy, to begin vaccinating healthcare workers from Dec 30". CNA. Retrieved 22 September 2021.
  5. ^ "PM Lee receives COVID-19 vaccine booster shot". CNA. Retrieved 22 September 2021.
  6. ^ "Those with mild skin reactions after first COVID-19 jab now allowed to receive further doses: Expert committee". CNA. Retrieved 22 September 2021.
  7. ^ Daga, John Geddie, Anshuman (14 December 2020). "Singapore approves Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine in Asia first". Reuters. Retrieved 28 April 2021.
  8. ^ "First shipment of COVID-19 vaccines arrives in Singapore". CNA. Retrieved 28 April 2021.
  9. ^ Limited, Bangkok Post Public Company. "Singapore gets first batch of vaccines, says DHL". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 28 April 2021.
  10. ^ "Sinovac vaccine will be used only when HSA gives approval". The New Paper. 25 March 2021. Retrieved 28 April 2021.
  11. ^ "China's Sinovac vaccine arrives in Singapore, but not yet approved for use". www.businesstimes.com.sg. Retrieved 28 April 2021.
  12. ^ "Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine to be allowed in Singapore under special access route after WHO approval". CNA. Retrieved 3 July 2021.
  13. ^ Goh, Timothy (2 June 2021). "Sinovac vaccine will be given to individuals not eligible for MRNA vaccines". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2 June 2021.
  14. ^ "7 more clinics chosen to offer Sinovac vaccine: MOH". sg.news.yahoo.com. Retrieved 3 July 2021.
  15. ^ "Singapore begins COVID-19 vaccination campaign". www.aa.com.tr. Retrieved 28 April 2021.
  16. ^ Reuters Staff (3 February 2021). "Singapore approves Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine in Asia first". Reuters. Retrieved 28 April 2021.
  17. ^ hermesauto (18 May 2021). "S'pore delays 2nd Covid-19 vaccine dose to 6-8 weeks later; those aged 40-44 can register for jabs from Wednesday". The Straits Times. Retrieved 21 May 2021.
  18. ^ "Singapore seeks COVID-19 vaccination for all adults by August". news.yahoo.com. Retrieved 21 May 2021.
  19. ^ a b "COVID: Singapore vaccination extended to 12-15 age group, dosing interval now 6-8 weeks". news.yahoo.com. Retrieved 21 May 2021.
  20. ^ "Singapore shortens interval between COVID-19 vaccine doses to 4 weeks". CNA. Retrieved 3 July 2021.
  21. ^ hermesauto (29 June 2021). "Second Covid-19 jab can now be booked 4 weeks after first dose, from 6-8 weeks previously". The Straits Times. Retrieved 3 July 2021.
  22. ^ Toh, Ting Wei (10 July 2021). "Those taking Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine can now get second dose in 3 weeks instead of 4". The Straits Times. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  23. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". www.vaccine.gov.sg. Retrieved 24 September 2021.
  24. ^ Ng, Abigail (18 May 2021). "Singapore approves Covid vaccine for children ages 12 to 15 as cases surge". CNBC. Retrieved 21 May 2021.
  25. ^ "Children aged 12 to 15 to receive Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in Singapore". CNA. Retrieved 21 May 2021.
  26. ^ Chong, Clara (24 June 2021). "S'pore may get non-mRNA Novavax Covid-19 vaccine before year-end". The Straits Times. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  27. ^ "Private clinics set to offer Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine in Singapore under special access route". CNA. Retrieved 28 July 2021.
  28. ^ Hui Min, Chew (31 May 2021). "People who want alternative COVID-19 vaccines can get them under special access route". CNA. Retrieved 2 August 2021.
  29. ^ Baker, Jalelah Abu (2 August 2021). "People with allergic reactions to mRNA COVID-19 vaccines can take Sinovac shots, will be considered fully vaccinated". CNA. Retrieved 7 August 2021.
  30. ^ Baker, Jalelah Abu (6 August 2021). "Those who opt for Sinovac, other vaccines under WHO emergency list to be considered fully vaccinated". CNA. Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  31. ^ Gena Soh (20 September 2021). "101,000 doses of Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine have arrived, jabs available in a few days: Ong Ye Kung". The Straits Times.
  32. ^ Lim, Min Zhang (10 September 2021). "Seniors to be invited to register for Covid-19 booster shots from Sept 14". The Straits Times. ISSN 0585-3923. Retrieved 29 September 2021.
  33. ^ Tan, Cheryl (24 September 2021). "Covid-19 vaccine booster shots for those aged 50 to 59 from Oct 4". The Straits Times. ISSN 0585-3923. Retrieved 29 September 2021.
  34. ^ Lim, Janice (19 August 2021). "Covid-19: ICA to issue tamper-proof vaccination sticker to newly-arrived travellers immunized abroad". Today Online. Retrieved 19 August 2021.
  35. ^ Shah, Mohd Farhaan (24 September 2021). "Muhyiddin: Malaysia and Singapore to mutually recognise vaccination certs as part of move towards reopening border". The Star. Archived from the original on 24 September 2021. Retrieved 25 September 2021.
  36. ^ This authorization includes Covishield, the licensed vaccine of the Oxford–AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India.