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COVID-19: Singapore sees early rush for Sinovac vaccine

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Providing Sinovac Biotech COVID-19 vaccines to the general public in Singapore for the primary time since Friday, a number of non-public clinics reported overwhelming demand for the Chinese language-made shot, regardless of already accessible rival vaccines having far larger efficacy.

Singapore has vaccinated virtually half its 5.7 million inhabitants with at the least one dose of the vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. Each have proven efficacy charges of properly over 90 p.c in opposition to symptomatic illness in scientific trials, in contrast with Sinovac’s 51 p.c.

Earlier this week, officers in Indonesia mentioned that greater than 350 medical employees have caught COVID-19, regardless of being vaccinated with Sinovac and dozens have been hospitalized, elevating considerations about its efficacy in opposition to extra infectious variants.

Picture: AFP

Proof from different international locations confirmed that individuals who had taken the Sinovac vaccine have been nonetheless getting contaminated, Kenneth Mak (麥錫威), Singapore’s director of medical providers, mentioned on Friday.

“There’s a important danger of vaccine breakthrough,” he mentioned, referring to the report on Indonesian healthcare employees.

A variety of the individuals dashing for the Sinovac shot on the primary day of its availability in Singapore have been Chinese language nationals, who felt it will make it simpler to journey house with out going by way of quarantine.

Singapore allowed the utilization of the Sinovac vaccine by non-public healthcare establishments beneath a particular entry route, following an emergency use approval by the WHO earlier this month.

Singapore mentioned it’s awaiting crucial information from Sinovac earlier than together with it within the nationwide vaccination program.

Within the meantime, authorities have chosen 24 non-public clinics to manage its present inventory of 200,000 doses. The clinics are charging S$10 to S$25 (US$7.50 to US$18.60) per dose.

“Now we have about 2,400 bookings, in order that stretches from proper now till finish of July,” Louis Tan, chief govt officer at StarMed Specialist Centre, mentioned yesterday.

He mentioned lots of those that made the Sinovac bookings are typically of their 40s or above.

Wee Healthfirst, one other authorised clinic, put a discover at its entrance on Friday, saying that it had stopped reservations for the vaccine till Thursday subsequent week, citing “overwhelming demand.”

A receptionist mentioned about 1,000 individuals had registered there.

Leong Hoe Nam, an infectious ailments physician at Rophi Clinic, additionally mentioned he had been “overwhelmed” by individuals wanting the Sinovac shot.

Tang Guangyu, a 49-year-old engineer, was among the many Chinese language nationals resident in Singapore who waited for the Sinovac shot moderately than take a foreign-made vaccine that he thought may not be acknowledged by authorities again house.

“Nobody desires to be quarantined for a month, I don’t have so many days of go away,” Tang informed reporters as he lined up outdoors a clinic.

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