Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine licensed for use in Singapore hinh anh 1Illustrative photo (Source: Reuters)
Singapore (VNA) - Singapore has become the first country in Asia to approve Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine as it begins rolling out its immunisation programme to the wider population.

In a statement on February 3, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said its review of the available clinical data found that the vaccine demonstrated a high efficacy of 94 percent, with the benefits outweighing the risks.

This means that there is a 94 percent reduction of symptomatic COVID-19 disease in a vaccinated group of people, compared with a similarly sized group of unvaccinated people, it said.

The figure is based on a Phase 3 clinical trial in the US which involved over 30,000 people aged 18 to 95.

Singapore expects to receive the first shipment of the Moderna shots around March. The Moderna vaccine is the second COVID-19 vaccine to be authorised for use by the HSA, after the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine approved in December 2020.

More than 175,000 people have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, including health workers and airline staff, while vaccination centres have been set up in recent weeks to start inoculating the elderly, authorities have said.

Singapore expects to have vaccinated its entire population by the third quarter, although last month the government said it was expecting shipment delays of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines due to upgrades in Pfizer’s manufacturing plant./.