New Novavax Covid-19 vaccine available for free at selected clinics in Singapore

The vaccine is recommended by the Expert Committee on Immunisation as an option for those aged 12 years and above here. - PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/ANN): A new Covid-19 vaccine is available under the National Vaccination Programme (NVP) from May 28, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a statement on the same day.

Called the Novavax/Nuvaxovid XBB.1.5 Covid-19 vaccine, it will be free for eligible individuals at any participating general practitioner (GP) clinics offering Covid-19 vaccinations.

Approved by the Health Sciences Authority, the vaccine is recommended by the Expert Committee on Immunisation as an option for those aged 12 years and above here, under prevailing Covid-19 vaccination recommendations.

The protein-based vaccine is recommended for those who are unable to receive mRNA vaccines, except those who are diagnosed with myocarditis – or the inflammation of the heart muscle – or pericarditis after a previous dose of an mRNA vaccine. Pericarditis is the swelling and irritation of the thin tissue surrounding the heart.

The locations of GP clinics offering the new Novavax vaccine can be found here.

The previous formulation of the Novavax vaccine, which was based on the original Covid-19 strain, had been discontinued from the NVP since Jan 1, when the remaining local stock of that vaccine expired and was no longer supplied by the manufacturer.

MOH advised people to book their Covid-19 vaccination appointments via the Health Appointment System or by calling the GP clinics before heading down.

“We urge individuals to keep up to date with their Covid-19 vaccination,” the ministry said.

It said that those who are at the greatest risk of severe disease are recommended to receive an additional vaccine dose in 2024, around one year after their last dose.

Those at high risk include people aged 60 years and above, medically vulnerable individuals and residents of aged care facilities, MOH said. It added that all vaccinated people aged six months and above are also encouraged to receive an additional dose of the Covid-19 vaccine for 2024.

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said on May 25 that the number of people hospitalised for Covid-19 had increased to about 280 over the past week, and urged vulnerable people to get an additional vaccine shot. He added then that mobile Covid-19 vaccination teams will be deployed at selected heartland locations across the island until June 28.

This comes amid a wave of Covid-19 infections driven by the KP.1 and KP.2 sub-variants, which account for more than two-thirds of Covid-19 cases here. As at May 3, the World Health Organisation has classified KP.2 as a variant under monitoring.

The current wave is expected to peak by the end of June, Ong said previously. - The Straits Times/ANN

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