Nurses willing to receive COVID-19 vaccine, but want peer review first - group

Trishia Billones, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 25 2021 03:36 PM | Updated as of Feb 26 2021 05:23 AM

A hospital in Pasig City simulates the flow of COVID-19 vaccination and possible unique scenarios in a drill on February 18, 2021. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - A nurses' group on Thursday said a survey among their members found that while most of them are willing to receive COVID-19 vaccine, they want one that has gone through Phase 3 of the clinical trials and peer review.

Maristela Abenojar, president of Filipino Nurses United, said 76.5 percent or 494 of their 646 respondents want to be administered coronavirus shots.

"Willing naman sila magpa-administer, pero isa sa concern nila is sana yung ia-administer sa kanila is yung tapos na sa sinasabi nating Phase 3 trial," she told ANC's Headstart.

(They are willing to be administered, but one of their concerns is they want whatever will be administered to them to have undergone Phase 3 trial.)

"Of course, aside from efficacy, gusto natin safe para sa ating bibigyan—hindi lang sa healthcare workers, kundi sa lahat ng kababayan natin. Ang tinitingnan natin dito ay yung resulta ng peer review na sana lumabas na, gaya nung sa Pfizer at iba pang vaccine," she said, when asked about the Sinovac vaccine.

(Of course, aside from efficacy, we want to be given safe vaccines—not only for the healthcare workers, but all of our countrymen. We want to see the results of the peer review, which we hope will come out like in Pfizer and other vaccines.)

Abenojar said their survey did not ask which brand of vaccine the nurses prefer to receive.

Sinovac vaccine from China was recently approved for emergency use, but the Food and Drug Administration said it is not recommended for health workers who may be exposed to COVID-19 patients. 

No such recommendation was stipulated for Pfizer and AstraZeneca, which were earlier given emergency use authorization.

Abenojar said it would be the nurses' "personal decision" whether or not to have themselves vaccinated against COVID-19 and which brand they would want receive. Asked if she personally would be avail of the Sinovac vaccine, she said: "Sa ngayon, hindi muna po." (For now, not yet.)

Sinovac was originally due to arrive in the country on February 23, but it was pushed back following China's decision to await first the issuance of an EUA.

Following EUA grant, the vaccine will be evaluated by the National Immunization Technical Group regarding inoculation procedure, which will include recipients of the jab, said Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.