Why are Sinovac and Sinopharm Vaccines Not Included in the National Vaccination Programme?

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Although the Singapore Government has now approved the use of Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines, it has not been included in the national vaccination program like the vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna.

The Singapore Government has explicitly state that the China vaccines will only be available through private clinics, and that individuals choosing to take the China vaccines will have to bear the administration cost of between $10 to $25.

In addition, the Singapore Government has also stated that they will not be liable or responsible for any adverse side effects arising from taking the China vaccines. This is unlike the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, in which individuals will be covered under the Vaccine Injury Financial Assistance Programme (VIFAP).

This left many supporters and proponents of the China vaccines unhappy and wondering why the China vaccines were treated so differently. Furthermore, there are now some people who believe that killed-virus vaccines from Sinovac and Sinopharm will be more effective against the highly infectious Delta strain of the COVID-19 virus, as compared to mRNA vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna.

But is this really the case? That Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines really offer better protection against the Delta strain? It was reported in the news, that over 350 Indonesian doctors and medical workers have contracted the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus despite being vaccinated with Sinovac, with dozens hospitalised due to serious complications. Among them, at least five doctors and one nurse have died from the COVID-19 infection, despite being fully vaccinated with Sinovac.

At the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has already made arrangements to procure every single type of vaccine available in the market (including Sinovac and Sinopharm). However, given that the process of vaccinating the entire country is an extremely resource and time intensive endeavor, it would certainly make sense to only absorb vaccines with the highest efficacy and effectiveness rates based on actual data and evidence, into the national vaccination program.

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