On June 18, people in Singapore began to receive Chinese Company Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccine at private clinics. The World Health Organization gave the Chinese vaccine a go for emergency use earlier in June. Following the approval from WHO, it was allowed by the Singapore administration to be administered at 24 private health clinics after. Notably, the approval was given despite one of the top health officials in Singapore raised doubt over its effectiveness.
As per the reports, the initial demand for the vaccine is strong, but the government is hesitant in adding it to the national vaccination program. It is believed that one of the reasons for its demand is among the people who are from mainland China or planning to go there. For them, it would be better to go for the Chinese vaccine, irrespective of the fact that more effective vaccines are available in Singapore.
Kenneth Mak, Director of medical services, Singapore, on Friday, said that he was worried over the vaccine’s effectiveness as reports coming from other countries suggest those who got Sinovac shot were still getting infected with Covid-19. He mentioned cases from Indonesia where health workers and doctors had to be hospitalized after contracting Covid-19 infection though they were vaccinated with Sinovac shot. He added, “It does give the impression that the efficacy of different vaccines will vary quite significantly.”
Singapore is providing vaccines manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna under the national vaccination program. As per studies, these vaccines are 90 per cent effective at preventing infections in real-world conditions. Only in rare cases, people got acute symptoms after getting fully vaccinated with those shots.
Reports on studies conducted on CoronaVac, the vaccine created by Sinovac, suggest that the shot’s effectiveness is anywhere between 50 to 84 per cent. WHO, while approving the Sinovac’s vaccine, said that it was only 51 per cent effective at preventing symptomatic disease. The minimum requirement for approval from WHO is 50%. Though the vaccines from China are considered highly effective against severe disease, scientists believe that the nations choosing Sinovac’s jab over Pfizer or Moderna may cause trouble in the future.
Covid-19 in Singapore
So far, Singapore has reported 62,403 cases. 62,023 people have recovered, while 34 have died of complications related to Covid-19 infection. Out of approx 50 lakh population, the nation has fully vaccinated 19 lakh+ people. Around 47 lakh doses have been administered in the country.