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30 Oct 2023

28th Oct 2023

         The Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination (EC19V) recommends that the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty and Moderna/Spikevax vaccines used for COVID-19 vaccination in Singapore are updated to their latest versions based on the Omicron XBB.1.5 variant, as they become available. This will apply to COVID-19 vaccinations for persons aged 6 months and above.

2.         The EC19V notes that the updated vaccines were developed based on international recommendations, and that the Health Sciences Authority has approved the updated Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty and Moderna/Spikevax COVID-19 vaccines for use in Singapore.

3.         Through its review of the scientific data around the updated vaccines, EC19V has assessed that the updated Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty and Moderna/Spikevax COVID-19 vaccines can provide a stronger immune response against current and emerging strains compared to older versions of the vaccines, and therefore may confer better protection against COVID-19. The safety profiles of the updated vaccines are expected to be comparable to that of previous versions.

Additional Dose Recommendations for 2023/2024

4.         The EC19V also recommends that an additional dose of the updated vaccine is administered around 1 year (and no earlier than 5 months) after the last dose received. The additional dose is:

a.    Recommended for all persons aged 60 years and above, medically vulnerable individuals and residents of aged care facilities;

b.    Encouraged for all individuals aged 6 months and above, in particular, healthcare workers, as well as household members and caregivers of medically vulnerable individuals

5.         The recommendations consider that persons at greatest risk of severe disease will benefit most from an enhanced level of protection with an additional dose. It may also be effective against disease transmission in persons who work or live with medically vulnerable persons. While COVID-19 is generally mild in healthy individuals who have been vaccinated previously, an additional dose further enhances protection against severe disease in the medically vulnerable and elderly and has comparable safety as previous doses.

6.         EC19V encourages all persons to ensure that their COVID-19 vaccination status is up-to-date and based on the prevailing recommendations for them. This ensures that they are better protected against COVID-19.