The Ministry of Health (MOH) has appointed a 14-member Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination to make recommendations to the government on Singapore’s COVID-19 vaccination strategy, and ensure the safe and effective use of COVID-19 vaccines. The Expert Committee’s appointment came into effect on October 5.
The committee is chaired by Associate Professor Benjamin Ong, Senior Advisor to the Director of Medical Services, Ministry of Health, and Senior Vice President (Health Education and Resources), National University of Singapore. It comprises experts in infectious diseases, immunology and other relevant fields.
The Expert Committee will leverage scientific and clinical expertise to assess vaccine candidates, and recommend the appropriate vaccines for use against COVID-19 in Singapore when they become available.
The Expert Committee will consider up-to-date information and assessment of COVID-19 vaccines, including closely monitoring the global vaccine development landscape and stance of authoritative agencies such as the World Health Organization (WHO).
As the latest clinical data of vaccine candidates emerges, the Expert Committee will assess their safety, efficacy and suitability for use by the different segments of Singapore’s population. It will then make recommendations on the administration of vaccines to specific segments of the population and advise on the overall vaccination strategy for Singapore.
The Expert Committee convened their first meeting on October 13 and has met regularly in the past month to discuss the profiles of various vaccine candidates, as well as the conditions for their deployment in Singapore’s context.
“Globally, as more vaccine candidates are made available for clinical use, ensuring that vaccines are safe and effective will be a top priority. There are many factors to consider as not all vaccines would be suitable, safe and effective for all segments of our population. The Expert Committee will need to closely study the safety and clinical data as they become available, while taking into account our local context, so that we can assess and recommend an appropriate and holistic vaccination strategy that can be put in place for the Singapore population, “ said Expert Committee chairperson Benjamin Ong.
“The safety of Singaporeans is our top priority, and the diverse range of expertise among my colleagues in the Expert Committee will put us in good stead as we deliberate on strategies for the implementation of COVID-19 vaccination in Singapore,” he added.