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14 Dec 2020

14th Dec 2020

Press release by the Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination

1. The Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination welcomes the interim authorisation of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA), for use in Singapore in individuals aged 16 years and above to prevent COVID-19 disease, in view of the pandemic conditions globally.

2. The Expert Committee has reviewed the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine’s safety and efficacy data for different population segments in Singapore, and been briefed by HSA on its full range of considerations in granting interim authorisation, and is thus satisfied with its safety and efficacy. The vaccine demonstrated a high vaccine efficacy of 95%, and its safety profile is consistent with the high standards set for other registered vaccines used in the immunisation against other diseases. We agree with HSA’s recommendation for the suitability of its use in individuals aged 16 years and above in Singapore. However pregnant women, immuno-compromised persons and those under the age of 16 should not receive the vaccine yet, until more data is available.

3. The Expert Committee further recommends that Singapore should achieve as comprehensive a coverage of COVID-19 vaccination as possible across its entire population, and everyone who is medically eligible should be vaccinated, although vaccination should remain voluntary.

4. As vaccine supply will arrive in Singapore in batches over several months as manufacturers ramp up their production of vaccines, we recommend that vaccination should start with groups who are at greater risk and hence most in need of COVID-19 vaccination, including healthcare workers and COVID-19 frontline workers, as well as vulnerable groups at greater risk of severe disease from COVID-19 infection, such as the elderly.

5. We will provide further details regarding our complete set of recommendations to the government on the use and priority groups for vaccination in the coming weeks.


EXPERT COMMITTEE ON COVID-19 VACCINATION
14 DECEMBER 2020