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.
He said the FDA is simply informing that the efficacy for health workers exposed to COVID-19 is low based on a study conducted in Brazil.
Health workers to decide if they want Sinovac vaccine
The DOH technical advisory group (TAG) said it was up to the health worker to decide whether to accept the Sinovac vaccine.
“We give to the healthcare workers the value judgment on how much weight they will give to the efficacy rates… We now give the healthcare workers the chance to decide based on the assessment of their risk,” said Dr. Marissa Alejandria, member of TAG.
NITAG and DOH hope that health workers will accept the upcoming Sinovac vaccines.
The vaccine’s efficacy is from 65.3% to 91.2%. However, it only reached 50.4% among health workers with COVID-19 exposure.
Meanwhile, Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian earlier said that it is a tradition between China and the Philippines to help each other in times of need.
“It is a fine tradition between China and the Philippines to help each other in trying times. A friend in need is a friend indeed. The donation of vaccines is another testament to the solidarity as well as profound friendship and partnership between our two peoples and two countries,” he added.