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07 Sep 2020

4th Sep 2020

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Mr Ang Wei Neng
MP for West Coast GRC

Question No. 12

To ask the Minister for Health what are the COVID-19 vaccine plans for Singapore.

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Mr Murali Pillai
MP for Bukit Batok

Question No. 26

To ask the Minister for Health what is the Government's strategy for vaccinating Singaporeans and Singapore residents against COVID-19 once such vaccinations are available here.

Written Answer

The Government is closely monitoring the global progress in the development of COVID-19 vaccines, and taking active steps to ensure that Singapore has timely access to an effective and safe vaccine when this becomes available.

Besides ongoing discussions with multiple pharmaceutical companies developing COVID-19 vaccines, Singapore is also actively engaged in international discussions to accelerate development and promote fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. In particular, Singapore has been working closely with the World Health Organisation, Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (Gavi), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and like-minded countries to establish a multilateral collaboration called the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) Facility that will enable countries to pool risk and resources to gain access to a portfolio of vaccines from different vaccine developers. Ensuring equitable access to vaccines will help to better contain and eradicate the COVID-19 pandemic, not just in Singapore but also globally.
At the same time, we are supporting local efforts to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. Duke-NUS Medical School is collaborating with a United States biotechnology company, Arcturus Therapeutics, to develop an mRNA vaccine. Phase 1 human clinical trials for this vaccine candidate started in early August at the SingHealth Investigational Medicine Unit (IMU). Singapore is also building up vaccine manufacturing capacity, which can provide fill-and-finish contract manufacturing services to vaccine developers and ramp up production of vaccines when they are available.

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 vaccination strategy and schedule would depend on several factors including the suitability of different vaccines for different population subgroups and the quantity of vaccines available at any point in time. We will continue to adapt our vaccination strategy as more information from the various vaccine candidates becomes available.