The Ministry of Health (MOH) will be bringing forward the administration of the bivalent Moderna/Spikevax vaccine from 17 October 2022, which was previously announced, to 14 October 2022. This is because our operation teams were able to complete their preparations earlier, and there are benefits to administering early as infections are rising due to the XBB Omicron subvariant.
2. The bivalent Moderna/Spikevax vaccine is based on the same original vaccine, with the same dosage for boosting. Instead of targeting only the original COVID-19 virus, the updated version also targets the Omicron variant. It therefore will provide better protection against newer COVID-19 variants. It is proven to be safe and effective.
3. The approach and process of updating a vaccine with new strains of a disease is an established practice. Influenza vaccines, for example, can include as many as four strains of the influenza virus, and may be updated twice a year. As updated vaccines are the same vaccine product which incorporate more recent strains of the virus, it is common and standard practice to conduct modified studies and smaller scale and more specific clinical trials, rather than re-run comprehensive clinical trials, to establish their safety and efficacy. This is an approach adopted and accepted by international bodies and regulators.
4. Based on post market surveillance, to date, over 11 million updated bivalent mRNA vaccine doses have been administered in the US without any safety concerns reported.
5. Both modified and clinical studies have shown that the bivalent Moderna/Spikevax vaccine is safe and efficacious. A clinical trial for the bivalent Moderna/Spikevax vaccine in adults aged 18 years and older compared 437 participants receiving the bivalent vaccine and 377 participants receiving the original vaccine for booster vaccination. The clinical trial showed that:
a. The bivalent vaccine provides better protection against newer COVID-19 variants, especially the Omicron variant. It generated an antibody response against the Omicron variant that was 75% greater than the original booster.
b. The side effects after vaccination were similar for both the bivalent vaccine and the original vaccine, and there were no safety issues observed.
6. The Health Sciences Authority and the Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination have independently reviewed the data, and assessed that the bivalent Moderna/Spikevax vaccine has a similar safety profile as the original Moderna/Spikevax vaccine. The vaccine is safe, and the risk of serious adverse events from the vaccine is very rare.
7. From 14 October 2022, persons who have yet to achieve minimum protection, or those aged 50 years and above who have received their last vaccine dose more than five months ago, may receive the bivalent Moderna/Spikevax vaccine. They can walk into any of the nine Joint Testing and Vaccination Centres (JTVC) offering the Moderna/Spikevax vaccines to receive their bivalent vaccine dose. These are:
· JTVC Ang Mo Kio
· JTVC Bukit Merah
· JTVC Commonwealth
· JTVC Jurong East
· JTVC Kaki Bukit
· JTVC Pasir Ris
· JTVC Sengkang
· JTVC Woodlands
· JTVC Yishun
Individuals may also refer to https://www.gowhere.gov.sg/vaccine to locate the nearest JTVC and their operating hours.
MINISTRY OF HEALTH
11 OCTOBER 2022