Singapore’s health agency said that individuals who have received the Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccine won’t count as being vaccinated.
“The national vaccination numbers reflect only those vaccinated under the national vaccination program,” the country’s Ministry of Health said on Tuesday. “Currently, this only includes those vaccinated with the Moderna COVID-19 and Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty vaccines.”
COVID-19 is the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, otherwise known as the coronavirus.
The city-state’s health officials said there is inadequate efficacy data for the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine, namely against the Delta strain. The variant has become the most prevalent COVID-19 strain in the country.
“We don’t really have a medical or scientific basis or have the data now to establish how effective Sinovac is in terms of infection and severe illnesses on Delta,” health minister Ong Ye Kung told reporters on Wednesday.
Singapore started allowing private health clinics to administer Sinovac’s CoronaVac starting from mid-June after the World Health Organization (WHO) gave emergency approval for usage starting on July 1. As of July 3, about 17,000 people had received one dose.
Kenneth Mak, Singapore’s director of medical services, said evidence from other countries showed people who had taken CoronaVac were still getting infected, posing a significant risk.
And Singapore has said that people vaccinated with CoronaVac would still need to be tested for COVID-19 before attending certain events or entering some venues, unlike people vaccinated under the national program.
Authorities said that people who received Sinovac’s shot abroad would be eligible for full inoculations with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines in Singapore. Mak told reporters Wednesday that the government cannot guarantee the safety of mixing vaccines.
“We have not stopped them although data is still lacking considering what the effectiveness is of this strategy using two different vaccines—we call this a heterologous vaccination strategy,” Mak said. “If there are those who are eligible to receive the vaccination from the national vaccination programme, we will allow them to register but we will advise them about the fact that evidence is not available concerning how well the response (is) if they had received other vaccines before.”
In April, the head of the Chinese Center for Disease Control (CDC), Gao Fu, admitted that some Chinese vaccine products “don’t have very high protection rates” but later said his comment was a “misunderstanding.” Gao said he was making the comment in the context that Chinese firms should pursue mRNA technology. It came amid reports that CoronaVac only had a 50.38-percent efficacy rate in preventing the CCP virus.
The Epoch Times has contacted the Ministry of Health for additional comment.
Reuters contributed to this report.