Vaccine panel approves Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine for elderly

The Vaccine Development Experts Panel (VEDP) has endorsed the use of the Chinese Sinovac to senior citizens amid supply shortage of AstraZeneca vaccines, VEFP head and Dr. Nina Gloriani said Wednesday.

Some local government units in Metro Manila halted their vaccination of the elderly due to ack of AstraZeneca supply.

“We expect an announcement from FDA about this, nakapaglabas na kami ng rekomendasyon na puwede siya sa seniors,” she said during the Laging Handa briefing.

(We already made a recommendation that Sinovac can be used for seniors.)

According to Gloriani, clinical trials of Sinovac in and China included 400 and 422 senior citizens, showed Sinovac only has mild to moderate side effects among the elderly.

“Maganda ang safety profile niya. Mild to moderate ang side effects. FDA DG (Director General) [Eric] Domingo is collating data and he will eventually announce it,” she added, referring to the Food and Drug Administration.

(Sinovac has a good safety profile and the side effects only range from mild to moderate.)

Vaccine panel approves Sinovac for elderly

Gloriani said that among side effects experienced by the senior citizens were pain in the injection area or the whole arm which go away after one to two days after vaccination.

Gloriani herself already completed her Sinovac vaccination. The FDA’s existing emergency use authorization on Sinovac only recommends it for clinically healthy individuals aged 18 to 59 years old.

“There is pain in injection area at mabigat ang braso, pero after two days, wala na. Wala ako masyadong naramdaman,” Gloriani, who is a senior citizen at 67 years old, said.

(There is pain in the area where I got the vaccine but I hardly felt discomfort.)

Although the efficacy of Sinovac is a bit lower on elderly participants, Gloriani said the Chinese vaccine could do more good than harm.

“Naging issue ang efficacy na medyo mababa kasi kulang pa ang nag participate sa trial, pero maganda iyong datos sa matatanda na hindi sila magkakaroon ng severe COVID-19,” she said.

(While Sinovac’s efficacy on elderly is a bit lower due to low number of elderly participants in the clinical trials, the same clinical trials still showed that Sinovac can still prevent elderly from getting a severe COVID-19.)