Updated Comirnaty vaccine against Covid-19 expected in S’pore by end-Oct: Janil Puthucheary

8 months ago 120

SINGAPORE – The updated Comirnaty vaccine for new Covid-19 variants is expected to arrive by end-October, and the government has no plans to start charging for Covid-19 vaccines as they are critical in keeping the virus at bay, said Senior Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary.

Emerging new Covid-19 variants have been reported to carry a number of additional mutations compared with previous Omicron variants.

“Fortunately, scientific and empirical evidence show that existing vaccine formulations continue to accord good protection to individuals against severe illness,” Dr Janil said.

“The Expert Committee on Covid-19 Vaccination is currently reviewing data of the updated Comirnaty vaccine and will be giving its recommendations on who should be receiving it,” he added.

Currently, the Ministry of Health (MOH) strongly recommends that seniors, aged 60 years and above, residents living in aged-care facilities and medically vulnerable persons continue to receive the updated vaccine one year after their last booster shot.

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) on Sept 15 approved the monovalent XBB.1.5 vaccine from Pfizer for persons aged six months and above and is reviewing other XBB.1.5 vaccines, which include the updated Comirnaty one.

Mr Janil added that healthy persons, between the ages of 12 and 59, may also receive the additional dose in 2023, which remains free under the National Vaccination Programme (NVP).

“There are no plans to charge for Covid-19 vaccines, because vaccines still play a critical role in keeping Covid-19 at bay,” he said.

He was replying to questions in Parliament from Mr Saktiandi Supaat (Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC) and ...

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