More and more people want to be vaccinated with Sinovac vaccines from China at some coronavirus disease (COVID-19) referral hospitals that started rolling out the government’s vaccination program on Monday.
This is after some medical frontliners expressed their concern over the fear of lower vaccine efficacy compared to other brands.
At the Philippine General Hospital, where many frontliners first expressed suspicion, the number of vaccinators reached 383 on Tuesday. On Monday, about 180 people were vaccinated.
Health workers expected Pfizer vaccines would be the first to arrive through the COVAX Facility of the World Health Organization, but Sinovac vaccines were delivered first.
According to UP-PGH Spokesperson Jonas Del Rosario, many of the frontliners have changed their minds, analyzed Sinovac data, and are convinced the vaccine is effective against the severe effects of COVID-19.
“Mayroon na nagsabi na ‘hindi ako natatakot sa mild disease’ ‘yung konting ubo at sipon [sa pagpapaturok ng] Sinovac, natatakot ako mamatay sa COVID kaya raw [sila] willing,” said Del Rosario.
PGH requests for additional Sinovac vaccines
It is said that the vaccination of the hospital chief, Dr. Gerardo Legaspi, also helped to increase the health workers’ vaccine confidence. In addition, there is no certainty as to when the next vaccines will come.
“Malaking bagay ‘yung mga leaders ng ospital ay magpapaturok ng bakuna. If the captain is willing to take the shot, maraming susunod,” said Del Rosario.
Del Rosario – who had COVID-19 – would have been the first to be vaccinated but he was told it would be better to wait first.
“I wish nagpabakuna na rin ako kahapon pero kinuhanan ako ng antibodies just recently na ang taas ng level ng antibodies ko, sabi nila, ‘sir, you can afford to wait.’ The vaccine we have right now we can tell you na may application na sa mga nagka-COVID na at mataas ang antibody tapos bibigyan kayo ng vaccine na ito… So sabi nila it’s better to wait,” said Del Rosario.
PGH is now requesting additional Sinovac vaccines, with 1,200 doses so far.
At Tala hospital in Caloocan, more than 30 COVID-19 ward employees have been vaccinated, according to medical center chief Dr. Fritz Famaran.