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Singapore saw the fewest deaths among those administered a Moderna Inc. shot and the most among those who received Sinovac Biotech Ltd.’s vaccine, with the city-state’s highly inoculated population providing a glimpse into how different immunizations are holding up in the real world.

Of the 802 people who died from COVID-19 last year in the city-state, 555, or about 70%, weren’t fully vaccinated, health minister Ong Ye Kung told parliament Monday, showing the life-saving impact of inoculation.

Singapore found 11 deaths per 100,000 among people who received Sinovac shots and 7.8 deaths among those with Sinopharm. This number fell to 6.2 deaths for those with the messenger RNA (mRNA) shot jointly developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE, and 1 fatality in those who were administered the vaccine from Moderna.

While Ong added some caveats to his comments — the sample size was small and did not account for factors such as age and timing of vaccine doses — the findings will likely add to concerns around the efficacy of Sinovac’s and Sinopharm Group’s inactivated virus shots, which have been widely used in the developing world. Initial laboratory studies have already suggested that Sinovac, even with a booster dose, is not effective against the highly transmissible omicron variant that’s now dominating the world.

The new and highly mutated variant is not yet circulating widely in the city-state, which has recorded more than 285,000 coronavirus infections throughout the pandemic and largely relied on the mRNA vaccines made by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech to grapple with a virus surge caused by the delta variant last year. About 87% of the total population was fully vaccinated as of Jan. 8, according to Ministry of Health data.

Ong reiterated that the key strategy remains to live with COVID-19, which includes not locking down the country’s borders. The government “cannot overliberalize all social activities” and remove all restrictions. Singapore will respond “flexibly and appropriately to twists and turns that the pandemic situation may take,” he said.

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