Singapore Says Concerned About ‘Very Tight’ Vaccine Supplies
(Bloomberg) -- Singapore said it is closely watching the supply of vaccines, as the city-state remains committed to inoculating its adult population by year-end amid snags in rollouts around the world.
Even though there hasn’t been significant disruptions so far, “we remain concerned about the supplies, the continuity of supplies, and that is why we are encouraging Singaporeans to get vaccinated as soon as possible,” Gan Kim Yong, the country’s health minister, said at a briefing on Wednesday. The government is monitoring developments in Europe and around the world, and is in close discussions with vaccine manufacturers and suppliers, he said.
“We do expect disruption from time to time, and today our supplies are very tight,” Gan said, citing additional potential factors like delays in shipments and hitches in logistics. He added the country keeps very little stock of vaccines as it wants to roll them out as soon as they arrive.
Singapore is one of the fastest countries for vaccinations per capita in Asia-Pacific, according to the Bloomberg global vaccine tracker, and has administered around 1.1 million Covid-19 vaccine doses as of March 23. While it has approved the use of vaccines by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE as well as Moderna Inc., it hasn’t green-lighted Sinovac Biotech Ltd.’s shots even though it got a shipment from the Chinese company last month.
The authorities have asked the manufacturer of the Sinovac vaccine for more information, as a complete package of all the data that was necessary to finish the evaluation process hadn’t been submitted, Kenneth Mak, the health ministry’s director of medical services, said at the same briefing.
“Until that approval from the regulatory authority is obtained, we will not be using the Sinovac vaccine, even though it’s arrived in our shores,” said Mak.
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