Health experts are set to amend priority lists for Sinovac vaccines after frontliners and senior citizens were discouraged from the vaccine.
Just to stay on the safe side, the country’s health experts are not recommending the use of Sinovac vaccines to the elderly, medical frontliners and those with serious health conditions.
DETERMINED to ensure the safety of the more vulnerable members of the society, the interim National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG) will be meeting to discuss changes in the priority list for Covid-19 vaccines developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd.
This, after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) discouraged its use for healthcare workers and the elderly due to its low efficacy rate.
“The NITAG has to meet and for purposes of Sinovac, they will have to amend their order of priority because obviously it cannot be given to healthcare workers and it cannot be given to senior citizens, “presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.
“I anticipate it will be first given to the Armed Forces and to the economic front-liners before we go to the indigents,” he added.
Roque earlier announced that a total of 600,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines are set to arrive in the country this week.
Of this amount, 100,000 doses will be donated to the Department of National Defense while the remaining 500,000 doses will be used for front-liners.
“Kung hindi maibibigay sa seniors at healthcare workers, napakadami naman pong mga critical economic front-liners na mabibigyan,” Roque noted.
“At siyempre kung maaprubahan nga at magkaroon na ng supply agreement pupuwede natin ituluy-tuloy at bakunahan na ang ating mga mahihirap,” he continued.
The FDA earlier said the Sinovac vaccine was only 50.4 percent effective in the high-risk group (people in contact with COVID-19 patients) and 65.3 percent effective among “healthy” senior citizens.
Not low quality
Amid concerns that Sinovac vaccines have lower efficacy rate compared to other vaccines, Roque assured the public that the vaccine standards are publicly accepted by the World Health Organization (WHO).
“It is not a low-quality vaccine. It is accepted under standards arrived at by the WHO itself. It is a guarantee na yung mga nabakunahan ay hindi po mamatay dahil sa COVID-19. It is a guarantee na kung ika’y tamaan man mild o asymptomatic ka lamang,” he said.
Citing healthcare experts, Roque said any vaccine, regardless of brand, is welcome as long as it could prevent deaths and serious illnesses due to COVID-19.
“We are recommending it because what we want is to avoid deaths and serious illnesses. Kaya po natin gagamitin po ‘yan because it’s better than no protection,” he added.