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Getting SG to Recognize Your Overseas COVID Vaccine

Updated: Jul 30, 2021

So you got your vaccine somewhere else besides here on the Little Red Dot. Maybe you're just moving to Singapore (you'll love it here!) or maybe you left Singapore for a while and went home and got the vaccine there. Now, you need Singapore to recognize that you're vaccinated. So how do you exactly do you do that?

Well, it's a bit of a process.

First off, you need to visit one of the private healthcare providers providing this service. There, they'll do the following:

  1. Conduct a visual check of your overseas vaccination documentation. No document? Sorry, you don't qualify for the verification service. Hang onto those papers!

  2. Run a serology test to see if you have developed antibodies to COVID

  3. Update individual’s overseas COVID-19 vaccination record(s) to the National Immunization Registry (NIR) if your papers are in order and serology test are positive

Persons who wish to obtain a serology test for this may check with their regular healthcare provider to see if they provide the service. Some of the private healthcare providers which can run the serology test are listed below. Please contact the clinics directly for more info.

Have more questions? Here are some answers from the Ministry of Health:

1. If I got my vaccine overseas, will the vaccine be recognized by the National Immunization Registry (NIR)?

Singapore Citizens (SCs), Permanent Residents (PRs), and Long-Term Pass (e.g. Long Term Visitor Pass, Work Permit, Employment Pass, S pass, and dependent pass holders) Holders (LTPHs) with the relevant COVID-19 vaccination records will be able to have their records ingested into NIR, as long as they have documentation to show proof of vaccination and their serology test results are positive. This includes either partial or complete COVID-19 vaccination received overseas.

2. Will all overseas COVID-19 vaccination records be accepted by Singapore?

Only COVID-19 vaccines authorised by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) under the Pandemic Special Assess Route (PSAR) [Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty and Moderna vaccines] and COVID-19 vaccines on the World Health Organisation Emergency Use Listing (WHO EUL) will be accepted for ingestion into Singapore’s IT systems.

3. What type of COVID-19 serology testing is required?

The serology test used should detect antibodies generated in response to the vaccine. As most COVID-19 vaccines are based on the spike (S) protein of the SAR-CoV-2 virus, a serology test that detects anti-S antibodies should generally be used. An anti-N (nucleocapsid) serology test may be used for persons vaccinated with inactivated virus vaccine. There is no need to distinguish between IgG and IgM, and a qualitative assay of total antibodies can be used.

4. Why is serology testing required before overseas COVID-19 vaccination records of SCs/PRs/LTPHs can be accepted?

Basically? Singapore wants to make sure you aren't faking. The serology test is an additional means, on top of vaccination documentation, to confirm that a person has undergone effective vaccination.

5. Can I take the serology test overseas?

Nope. Singapore wants you to prove that you're protected using facilities they know and trust right here in Singapore.

6. How long do the results take?

It all depends on where you take the test, but generally two to four days.

7. How much does it cost?

Each clinic sets its own price.

8. What if the serology test comes back negative?

If you don't show any immunity to COVID, you can safely take the vaccine again at no cost to you.

For more answers, check out the MOH website here.

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