The Multi-Ministry Taskforce (MTF) outlined plans on 14 Dec 2020 to enable Singaporeans to get vaccinated against COVID-19, noting that it will allow our economy to open up and more social activities to resume.

In order to do this, the safety and efficacy of the vaccines are key. Singapore has put in place stringent processes to assess the safety of the vaccines we bring in:

  • Ensure they comply with the World Health Organization’s guidelines and international standards

  • Health Sciences Authority (HSA) is reviewing scientific and clinical evidence in detail; and is in constant consultation with global benchmark regulatory authorities

  • Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination is assessing how best to deploy the vaccines across all population segments to achieve optimal health outcomes for Singapore and Singaporeans
I want to assure all Singaporeans that only vaccines that meet strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness will be used for our population.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, at an MTF Press Conference on 14 Dec

Advanced Purchase Agreements with pharmaceutical companies

Singapore has signed Advance Purchase Agreements with Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and Sinovac, and are in discussions with a few other pharmaceutical companies.

HSA has authorised the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for pandemic use in Singapore, and the first batch of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines is expected to arrive in Singapore by end-December 2020. Subsequent batches from the three companies will arrive in 2021.

Singapore is also a strong supporter and active participant in the work of the global COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) Facility and has entered into a Commitment Agreement to give us the right to purchase a certain amount of vaccines.

Vaccinations will be free

All Singaporeans and long-term residents will be able to get vaccinated by end-2021.

Vaccination is strongly encouraged for everyone, but it is voluntary. The vaccination will be free.

When you get yourself vaccinated, you are not just protecting yourself. You are also doing your part to protect others, especially your loved ones.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, in his address on 14 December

Singapore will be progressively vaccinated

Priority for vaccination will go to those at greater risk. These include:

  • Healthcare and frontline workers
  • Vulnerable groups (e.g. the elderly; those at greater risk of severe disease from COVID-19 infection)

Vaccination will be deferred for the following groups until more data on safety and efficacy for these groups is available:

  • Pregnant women
  • Those with compromised immunity
  • Children under 16 years old

The Expert Committee will share its detailed advice on the overall vaccination strategy for Singapore and its specific recommendations on each of the vaccines in the coming weeks.

Vaccination not a silver bullet

While comprehensive vaccination coverage in the population will enable Singapore to re-open further and expedite recovery from the pandemic, it is not a silver bullet.

Singapore cannot let its guard down. Continue to be vigilant, keep up with good practices and abide by safe management measures.

 

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