Clinics getting hundreds of calls on Sinovac vaccine
Some clinics have been receiving "non-stop" inquiries from people interested in receiving Sinovac's Covid-19 vaccine after the Ministry of Health's (MOH) announcement late on Wednesday that 24 private healthcare institutions would be licensed to administer it.
MOH had said that anyone interested in getting the vaccine could directly contact the 24 selected providers from today.
But as at yesterday afternoon, some of the providers were already inundated with calls.
The Straits Times contacted all 24, but 20 did not answer the phone or could not be reached. The four that responded said they had been dealing with calls about the Sinovac shot.
A clinic assistant at iCare Medical and Wellness Clinic said she had received "too many calls to count", though the first batch - 200 vials - is scheduled to reach the clinic only today.
"We have been taking calls from 8.30am till now, non-stop... hundreds of calls," said another clinic assistant at Little Cross Family Clinic at around 1pm yesterday. She said the vaccine would probably be delivered to the clinic this weekend.
Icon Cancer Centre Farrer Park also faced a deluge of calls.
"We have received a lot of calls today - a few hundred, within even the first few hours of the morning," said chief executive Serena Wee.
She said her centre had been told only on Wednesday night that its application was successful, so it is still working out certain administrative details.
She added that the centre is expecting 200 vials of the vaccine to be delivered today.
She also said her centre was told that when half the vials had been used up, they could request more from MOH.
Dr Leong Hoe Nam of Rophi Clinic said he would most likely be requesting more doses beyond the initial 200, as his clinic had also received hundreds of calls yesterday.
MOH had earlier said that as the doses are provided to the institutions free, they should not charge people anything other than a vaccination administration fee, which is inclusive of consultation and 7 per cent goods and services tax.
The charges for Sinovac's vaccine by the 24 approved providers range from $10 to $25.