Singapore on Wednesday approved the use of a second COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 18 years and above. The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is the second to be approved after the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine currently being used.
The Expert Committee has independently reviewed the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine’s safety and efficacy data for different population segments in Singapore, and has been briefed by The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) on its full range of considerations in granting interim authorisation, and is satisfied with its safety and efficacy.
“In assessing the suitability of vaccine candidates for specific population groups, the Expert Committee took into consideration the safety, efficacy and tolerability of the vaccine and data adequacy of clinical trials. The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine demonstrated a high vaccine efficacy of 94%, and its safety profile is consistent with the standards set for other registered vaccines used in the immunisation against other diseases,” a release on the Ministry of Health website stated.
The Expert Committee has however stated that pregnant women, severely immuno-compromised persons, those under the age of 18 and those with a history of anaphylaxis or severe allergies should also not be given the vaccine at this time.
The HSA authorised the Moderna vaccine under the Pandemic Special Access Route (PSAR) with the vaccine to be progressively rolled out when shipments of the vaccine arrive. The first such shipment is expected in March 2021.
“More vaccines from both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech will arrive over the course of the year. We will continue to monitor our supplies closely to ensure that we will have enough vaccines for all Singaporeans and long-term residents in Singapore by the third quarter of 2021,” the MOH release said.
As of February 2, more than 175,000 individuals have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and about 6,000 of them have also received their second dose of the vaccine, and completed the full vaccination regimen, the ministry said.