S'pore will give higher risk groups Covid-19 vaccine priority: Gan Kim Yong

As it should be.

Belmont Lay | September 05, 2020, 12:55 AM

Higher risk groups of people in Singapore more likely exposed to infection will be given priority to receive Covid-19 vaccines in the event they become available, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said in Parliament on Friday, Sept. 4.

Gan was responding to queries by Members of Parliament Murali Pillai and Ang Wei Neng on the government's strategy on vaccinating people in Singapore.

Vaccination coverage will be expanded

Gan said in a written reply that the strategy would depend on the quantity of vaccines available and the suitability of different vaccines for various groups.

He said: "Our vaccination approach aims to protect individuals who are more vulnerable or at higher risk from the disease, as well as those who may be more likely exposed to infection, while progressively expanding the coverage of vaccination to our population."

The government is closely monitoring the progress of Covid-19 vaccines development around the world, Gan said.

"We will continue to adapt our vaccination strategy as more information from the various vaccine candidates becomes available," he added.

Singapore working with others on vaccine

It was previously reported that Singapore is in discussions with multiple pharmaceutical companies developing vaccines, although the vaccine is estimated to arrive here only in late-2021.

Singapore is also “actively engaged” in discussions with other countries to “accelerate development" and "promote fair and equitable access” to Covid-19 vaccines.

Locally, an mRNA vaccine is being developed by the Duke-NUS Medical School in collaboration with United States biotechnology company Arcturus Therapeutics, Gan said.

Phase 1 human clinical trials for the vaccine candidate started in early August.

Gan also said that Singapore is building up its vaccine manufacturing capacity.

This is to provide contract manufacturing services to vaccine developers and ramp up production once vaccines are available, Gan said.

Top photo via Unsplash