More than 2,600 in Singapore have booked to get Novavax COVID vaccine: Ong Ye Kung

·Senior Reporter
·2 min read
A man receives his vaccination at a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination center in Singapore March 8, 2021. REUTERS/Edgar Su
A man receives his vaccination at a coronavirus disease vaccination centre in Singapore. (Reuters file photo)

SINGAPORE — More than 2,600 people in Singapore have booked appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine developed by US biotechnology company Novavax as of Tuesday (24 May) noon, said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung.

Separately, some 130 here have received the first dose of protein-based Nuvaxovid and about 550 have received it as a booster jab, Ong added in a Facebook post.

Singapore residents aged 18 and above were allowed to book appointments for the Novavax vaccine since 13 May.

Administration of Nuvaxovid began on 18 May at any of the 20 participating Public Health Preparedness Clinics (PHPCs). The vaccine is also available at Joint Testing and Vaccination Centre (JTVC) Bishan, one of five such centres that started operating on Tuesday.

Each JTVC can administer up to 4,500 vaccinations and some 2,000 antigen rapid or polymerase chain reaction tests a day. Another five such centres will start operations in end-June.

"With these joint centres, we can return community clubs back to the community, and yet we stand prepared for any rapid changes in the COVID-19 situation," wrote Ong.

Novavax's Nuvaxovid is one of two non-messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) shots approved for use under Singapore's national vaccination drive, alongside the inactivated CoronaVac developed by Chinese vaccine maker Sinovac.

However, it is the only non-mRNA vaccine currently recommended as a booster dose in Singapore by the Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination. The committee described it as an "acceptable alternative" to the mRNA vaccines for booster jabs for those aged 18 and above.

The two-dose Nuvaxovid is made with lab-grown copies of the spike protein that coats the coronavirus and is developed differently from mRNA vaccines.

Those produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna – the other two vaccines used in Singapore's national drive and booster vaccination – deliver genetic instructions for the body to make its own spike protein.

As part of the Nuvaxovid vaccination regimen, the five-microgram doses are administered three weeks apart. A booster dose is recommended to be taken five months after the last dose of the primary vaccination series.

As of Tuesday, 92 per cent of Singapore's total population have completed their full COVID-19 vaccine regimen, while 76 per cent have received their booster shots.

List of Joint Testing and Vaccination Centres in Singapore. (TABLE: Ministry of Health)
List of Joint Testing and Vaccination Centres in Singapore. (TABLE: Ministry of Health)

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