Pickering Street clinic offering Sinovac vaccine sees long queues

There were long queues over the last 48 hours at a clinic in Pickering Street as people looked to book slots to receive the Sinovac vaccine.

Chinese-language daily Lianhe Zaobao reported yesterday that there were more than 100 people in line outside Doctors for Life Medical on Monday. Another Chinese-language paper, Shin Min Daily News, reported a similar number had queued there yesterday, even before the clinic opened at 9am.

When The New Paper visited yesterday afternoon, there were about 10 people looking to register for the jab.

A Singaporean, who wanted to be known only as Alan, said he was there to book an appointment for his 35-year-old friend, a Chinese national.

Alan, 45, who works in the hotel industry, said: "It has been more than a week since she tried registering for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines online but there has been no reply.

"She is anxious to get vaccinated as she works in the beauty industry and deals with customers when they are not wearing masks. So, I decided to help her by coming down today to get her registered for the vaccine."

He used a QR code outside the clinic for registration and said someone from the clinic had told him he would receive a confirmation message within two days.

Singapore has approved only the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines but allowed the use of the Sinovac vaccine by private healthcare institutions under a special access route at a fee of between $10 and $25 for a single dose, after emergency use approval by the World Health Organisation earlier this month.

Doctors For Life Medical is one of 24 clinics selected as a licensed provider of the Sinovac vaccine here.

While registration can be done online, many in the queue told Zaobao they were there because they did not receive a reply after doing so.

The clinic was locked when TNP was there yesterday, and no one responded to calls.

Its medical director Toh Lim Kai told both Chinese papers that registration kicked off on Sunday. He said in-person registration was allowed after some people had made the request. He said the clinic never anticipated so many people to turn up.

A 30-year-old man, who wanted to be known only as Mr Yan, turned up at the clinic at 6am on Monday after he did not receive any message and there were already around six people there. By the time the clinic opened its doors at 9am, there were about 100 people.

He told Zaobao that many people in the queue were from China and wanted the Sinovac jab as foreign-made vaccines may not be recognised back home.