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Rationale for Government’s approval for Sinovac to be used before evaluation is finalised

Mr Yip Hong Weng, 
MP for Yio Chu Kang


To ask the Minister for Health (a) why did the Government allow the Sinovac vaccine to be used in Singapore under the Special Access Route even when the Government has not finished its evaluation of the quality, safety and efficacy of the Sinovac vaccine; and (b) what assistance is available for needy patients who suffer severe complications from Sinovac but do not have coverage under Integrated Shield Plans.

Written Answer

The Government allowed the vaccine from Sinovac to be used under the Special Access Route (SAR) because this is precisely the purpose of this prevailing scheme – to allow the use of unregistered therapeutic products in instances where there is a specific medical need.  In this case, the individuals do not wish to take the approved vaccines under the national vaccination programme, and it is better that they get some form of protection against COVID-19 than no protection at all.

Persons who experience serious side effects from receiving COVID-19 vaccines, whether under the national vaccination programme or under SAR, can continue to receive support through applicable healthcare financing schemes, such as MediShield Life and subsidies at our public healthcare institutions, or private insurance, where applicable. We continue to encourage individuals to take the two vaccines under our national vaccination programme. They are free, proven to be safe and effective, and will be covered by the Vaccine Injury Financial Assistance Programme (VIFAP).

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