Gov’t targets to vaccinate over 1M health workers in a month

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said Monday the government aims to vaccinate at least 1.4 million in one month.

“Pipilitin po natin na matapos [ang pagbabakuna sa] lahat ng health workers nationwide ngayong Marso,” Galvez said during the rollout at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) in Manila.

“Wala pong maiiwan, walang iwanan,” he added.

The first batch of COVID-19 vaccines in the Philippines, CoronaVac from the Chinese company Sinovac, arrived this Sunday.

At around 4:10 pm, a Chinese military cargo plane landed at Villamor Air Base in Pasay, carrying 600,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Sinovac.

President Rodrigo Duterte himself led the welcome ceremony for the vaccines, along with some government officials.

Sinovac is the third drug maker granted with EUA after AstraZeneca of UK and Pfizer-BioNTech of US/Germany. The COVID-19 vaccines from western pharmaceutical companies have been found to have a 70% to 95% efficacy rate.

Also read: Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine not recommended for health workers, senior citizens

Gov’t targets to vaccinate over 1M health workers in a month

The FDA chief said that Sinovac’s efficacy is from 65.3% to 91.2%. However, it only reached 50.4% among health workers with COVID-19 exposure.

According to the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG) and the Health Technology Assessment Council, an independent advisory body in the Department of Health, have agreed that the Sinovac vaccine could be administered to health workers.

This includes frontliners, or those directly caring for patients with COVID-19.

“Clinical trial data still shows that the vaccine is 50 percent effective in preventing mild symptoms and 100 percent effective against moderate to severe symptoms… As it bears to reiterate that our goal for prioritizing healthcare workers for vaccination is to reduce morbidity and mortality among their group while they maintain the most critical essential health services,” said DOH spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire.

According to Vergeire, it is clear from the emergency use authorization issued by the Food and Drug Administration that Sinovac is not prohibited for health care workers.

 

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