Some 2,000 people had 'severe adverse reactions' to Pfizer, Moderna vaccine: MOH


SINGAPORE – There are some 2,000 individuals who have experienced severe adverse reactions after the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine and they should not receive an mRNA vaccine again, said the Ministry of Health (MOH). 

In a Facebook post on Saturday (5 June), the MOH said it is evaluating other suitable non-mRNA vaccines. "We expect to make such vaccines available before the end of this year for use in our national vaccination programme, after the vaccines have been rigorously assessed and approved by the HSA (Health Sciences Authority)," the ministry said.

In a press release on Friday, the MOH said that these 2,000 individuals are those who had developed "anaphylaxis or allergic reactions (hives, face/ eyelid/ lip/ throat swelling, generalised rash within 7 days after vaccination)".

The individuals can consider taking vaccines under the Special Access Route (SAR), such as the Sinovac vaccine, if they cannot wait, the ministry added in its post. 

The ministry is also awaiting "some outstanding data on the Sinovac vaccine to complete our evaluation" for the vaccine to be part of the national vaccination programme.

In the meantime, private healthcare providers can apply to draw on Singapore's existing stock of the Sinovac vaccine. The Republic received its first shipment of the vaccine, also known as CoronaVac, in February, with some 200,000 doses delivered.

Those who were previously rejected from taking the mRNA vaccines because of severe allergies or were allergic to the first dose – over 30,000 of them in total, said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung at a virtual press conference on Monday – are able to be vaccinated with the Sinovac vaccine for free at approved private clinics, the ministry said. 

"For all other individuals who prefer Sinovac for non-medical reasons, it will be a private arrangement with the vaccine provider, and (they) will have to pay an admin fee to the private providers," the MOH added.