This story was first published on April 14, 2021, and updated on October 26, 2021.
As Singapore extends its Stabilisation Phase and all restriction to November 21, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has announced that the Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccine will be included in Singapore’s national vaccination programme as a three-dose regime.
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This is because while we currently have about a 90 per cent vaccination rate in Singapore, there are many people who are still choosing not to take an mRNA vaccine.
“To ensure that everyone will have reasonably good protection against Covid-19, we will offer the three-dose primary series regime of Sinovac-CoronaVac under the national vaccination programme to those who have not completed their full course of vaccination, including persons who had only received one or two doses of Sinovac-CoronaVac previously,” said MOH.
If you are among those who have yet to be vaccinated and would like to choose which Covid-19 vaccine to receive, take note that MOH has also released the full list of vaccination centres and types of vaccines on their website for easy access.
Those eligible will be able to choose their vaccine according to the vaccination centre that offers their preferred type, be it Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech or Sinovac.
MODERNA AND PFIZER-BIONTECH/COMIRNATY
The Moderna vaccine is currently available at 9 of the vaccination centres in Singapore while 23 centres are supplied with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
Currently, both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech are very similar. They both use the new messenger RNA technology which injects parts of the virus’s genetic material into the body. This then teaches cells to create a protein that will trigger an immune response. This will allow your body to produce antibodies to fight the virus.
The reported side effects of both vaccines are also very similar with people typically reporting pain or swelling at the injection site, fatigue, headaches, muscle aches, fever, chills, nausea and joint pains.
Both vaccines also have similar efficacy rates with Moderna’s being at 94 per cent and Pfizer’s at 95 per cent.
The only difference between the two vaccine types is that Moderna requires two doses taken at least four weeks apart while Pfizer requires two doses taken at least three weeks apart.
Additionally, Singapore received a new batch of vaccines, called Comirnaty.
These vaccines are the same as the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines that are now used in the national vaccination programme and will be reflected as Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty in your HealthHub records if you get it.
Sinovac, on the other hand, is the latest vaccine to be included in Singapore’s national vaccination programme.
Currently, there are 24 private clinics islandwide that have been selected to administer it. A single dose will cost you between $10 to $25 and you will need three doses.
“As these vaccines are being provided to the providers at no cost, individuals should take note that the providers should not charge them for the vaccine cost. There should not be any additional costs (beyond the vaccination administration fees listed) charged by these providers,” MOH said.
People who suffer from allergic reactions following their first Pfizer or Moderna jabs are encouraged to take Sinovac to complete their vaccine regime, according to Senior Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary in Parliament on Aug 2.
If you have already taken one dose of Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty though and would like to switch to Sinovac-CoronaVac, you will be required to take two more doses of Sinovac-CoronaVac as it is of relatively lower vaccine efficacy.
If you are medically ineligible to take any mRNA vaccine, you should also be taking three doses of Sinovac-CoronaVac.
You can find out more about how many doses you should be taking here.
If you are interested in the Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccine, you can contact the providers directly from June 18 to get more information.