Shipment company

First shipment of Novavax Covid-19 vaccine arrives in Singapore

SINGAPORE – The first batch of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by US biotech firm Novavax arrived in Singapore on Wednesday May 4 and will be offered at 21 sites here by the end of the month.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) said late Wednesday that the Nuvaxovid vaccine will be offered at its first joint testing and immunization center at the former Bishan Park Secondary School, as well as 20 public health preparedness clinics ( PHPC) at the end of May. .

Nuvaxovid is a protein or protein subunit vaccine.

Vaccines based on mRNA technology, such as the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty and Moderna shots, use material from the virus to teach cells in the body to make copies of a protein unique to the virus, and in this way to develop resistance to it.

On the other hand, protein-based vaccines contain fragments of the virus. When a person is vaccinated with them, their body realizes that the protein shouldn’t be there and creates antibodies to fight it.

The results of some clinical studies have shown that Nuvaxovid demonstrated approximately 90% vaccine efficacy against symptomatic Covid-19. Meanwhile, the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty and Moderna vaccines have shown vaccine efficacy of around 95%.

The Joint Testing and Vaccination Centers, which are expected to begin operations at the end of the month, will be a new class of facility that will offer both Covid-19 testing and vaccination services in one location.

“The (centres) will allow us to consolidate our resources, while ensuring that testing and vaccination services remain accessible to the public,” the health ministry said.

The ministry added that it was working with selected PHPCs to offer the Nuvaxovid vaccine and will announce further details in the coming weeks.

The Joint Testing and Immunization Centers were announced last month, when the Health Ministry said it would pool its resources at several such centers.

This comes as more Covid-19 vaccination centers will go out of business over the coming months, with the number of Covid-19 doses administered steadily decreasing in recent weeks.

On February 14, the multi-ministerial Covid-19 task force accepted the recommendation of the Expert Committee on Covid-19 Vaccination (EC19V) to include the Nuvaxovid vaccine in the national vaccination program for use in people aged 18 and over, for both the Covid-19 primary series and booster vaccination.

The expert committee recommended the Nuvaxovid vaccine as an acceptable alternative to messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines in people aged 18 and over

mRNA vaccines such as those offered by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech still remain the preferred vaccines due to their higher efficacy and stronger immune response generated.

The Department of Health said EC19V reviewed data on the safety, efficacy and tolerability of the vaccine.

“Booster and vaccinations remain a critical part of our Covid-19 strategy to ensure our population is well protected against infection and serious illness,” the health ministry said.

“We urge everyone who is eligible for vaccines and booster doses to receive them as soon as possible.”