The US Drug regulator FDA (Food and Drug Administration) granted full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on 23 August. This is the first, and currently only, vaccine to secure such validation from the FDA - which is regarded as the one of the lead regulatory bodies for drugs and vaccines.
What does it mean for us in Singapore?
Full approval in the US would pave the way for full approval in Singapore Singapore’s equivalent of an approval authority is the Health Sciences Authority (HSA). Currently, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in Singapore has been granted interim authorisation under the Pandemic Special Access Route. It was extended to those aged 12 and above from May 2021. Similar to how many countries take reference to the FDA for approval, it may not be long before we see the same approval in Singapore.
Pfizer BioNTech vaccine now has plenty of data to be deemed safe It is probably the first time a vaccine has had more than 1 billion patients use it at the time of approval. This has created a significant wealth of safety data after more than 6 months of usage, for regulators to determine the safety and efficacy of the vaccine.
Once approved in Singapore, more private clinics may be able to offer the vaccine, booster shots facilitated too Full HSA approval in Singapore would mean that private healthcare clinics and institutions in Singapore would be able to purchase from the distributors directly, instead of current special access routes. There is strong suggestion that regular booster shots may be needed for protection, much like the flu. Hence, having easy access to COVID-19 vaccination in these clinics will likely become a norm.
If you have not been vaccinated or have a family member or friend who has not been, please book an appointment for your COVID-19 Pfizer BioNTech vaccination at our clinic.
From 18 August 2021, all eligible Singaporeans, Permanent Residents and Long-Term Pass holders aged 12 years old and above can walk in to Intemedical Clinic (Kovan) for first dose vaccination. Vaccination is free for these groups.
Getting your Pfizer BioNTech Vaccine at Intemedical Clinic
Before your visit - Book your appointment through https://www.vaccine.gov.sg/ and select Intemedical Clinic (Kovan) - Both doses must be taken at the same centre - Appointment times are between 1pm - 9.30pm
At your visit - Bring proof of your identification (Eg. NIRC/Passport) - Patients <18 years of age will require parental consent - Patients between 12-13 years of age will need parent/legal guardian to come along - Set aside about 1 hour for the visit including 30 minutes of observation time
After your vaccination - Remember to book your appointment for your 2nd vaccination - Rest and hydrate. Take medications for symptomatic relief for common side effects such as pain over the injection site or fever. If your fever lasts more than 2 days, consult a doctor. - Avoid alcohol for 2 days. Avoid vigorous exercise for 1 week.