First Sinovac shots to be rolled out at private clinics

THE first of the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccinations will be administered at some private clinics, following the authorities’ approval of 24 private healthcare clinics to draw on the government’s existing stock of the vaccine.

As not all the clinics have received the vials yet, many have turned away walk-in requests from the public or placed them on registration wait lists. According to some clinics, the waiting time for those who register successfully could be two weeks or more.

Several clinics said they have been inundated with calls since the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) announcement on Wednesday on the 24 selected providers.

A spokesman for Rophi Clinic said it has received “thousands of sign-ups who have registered their interest, but all slots are booked”. It will be giving out 20 jabs this afternoon.

The Rophi Clinic spokesman said that vaccination will be conducted on non-clinic days to segregate those receiving vaccines from regular patients. The clinic is encouraging individuals to make bookings online instead of walking in to the clinic.

On Friday morning, there was a queue of about 10 people outside Little Cross Family Clinic in Tampines St 91 making inquiries about the vaccine.

They were told to send their details to a WhatsApp number so they can be contacted when the vaccines are available, as the clinic has not received them yet.

Part-time administrator Phuah CK, 72, was among those making inquiries as he has a medical history of hypertension, high cholesterol, liver cirrhosis and other problems.

“I fear the side effects of other vaccines,” he said. “So far I haven’t seen many reports about the side effects of the Sinovac vaccine.”

The charge for Sinovac’s vaccine by the 24 approved providers ranges from S$10 to S$25 (RM30.90 to RM77.20).

MOH had earlier said that as the doses are being provided to the institutions for free, they should not charge people anything other than a vaccination administration fee, which is inclusive of consultation and a 7% goods and services tax. — The Straits Times/ANN

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