Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech or Sinovac? You Can Now Choose Your Preferred Vaccine in Singapore
This story was first published on April 14, 2021, and updated on July 7, 2021.
If you are among those who would like to choose which Covid-19 vaccine to receive, take note that the Ministry of Health (MOH) has released the full list of vaccination centres and types of vaccines on their website.
Those eligible will be able to choose their vaccine according to the vaccination centre that offers their preferred type, be it Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech or Sinovac.
MODERNA AND PFIZER-BIONTECH
The Moderna vaccine is currently available at 11 of the 38 vaccination centres in Singapore. All the other centres are supplied with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
Currently, both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech are very similar. They both use the new messenger RNA technology which injects parts of the virus's genetic material into the body. This then teaches cells to create a protein that will trigger an immune response. This will allow your body to produce antibodies to fight the virus.
The reported side effects of both vaccines are also very similar with people typically reporting pain or swelling at the injection site, fatigue, headaches, muscle aches, fever, chills, nausea and joint pains.
Both vaccines also have similar efficacy rates with Moderna's being at 94 per cent and Pfizer's at 95 per cent.
The only difference between the two vaccine types is that Moderna requires two doses taken at least four weeks apart while Pfizer requires two doses taken at least three weeks apart.
Additionally, Singapore is also expected to receive a new batch of vaccines, called Comirnaty soon.
These vaccines are the same as the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines that are now used in the national vaccination programme and will be reflected as Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty in your HealthHub records if you get it.
Sinovac, on the other hand, is the latest vaccine to enter the market. Currently, there are 24 private clinics islandwide that have been selected to administer it. A single dose will cost you between $10 to $25 and you will need two doses.
"As these vaccines are being provided to the providers at no cost, individuals should take note that the providers should not charge them for the vaccine cost. There should not be any additional costs (beyond the vaccination administration fees listed) charged by these providers," the Ministry Of Health (MOH) said.
However, do note that because Sinovac is not part of the national vaccine programme, it will not be covered under the Vaccine Injury Financial Assistance Programme for Covid-19 Vaccination.
Additionally, recipients of the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine will not be exempted from pre-event testing according to MOH.
This is because it is not included in the national vaccine programme which means that it may lack sufficient data as to how well they can protect a person against the virus.
Individuals who take the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine will also not be included in Singapore's national vaccination numbers as the national numbers only reflect those vaccinated under the national vaccination programme. However, your vaccine record will be still reflected on the National Immunisation Registry.
If you are interested in the Sinovac vaccine, you can contact the providers directly from June 18 to get more information.
Additionally, while you are free to choose which centre you wish to get vaccinated at, do note that certain centres or clinics may have limited slots due to the high demand for vaccines and the limited supplies that Singapore has.