Defense dep't to start COVID-19 vaccinations Monday


Posted at Mar 01 2021 08:57 AM

Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City, July 8, 2020. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - The Department of National Defense said Monday it would begin COVID-19 immunization among its personnel using Sinovac's vaccine at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center and AFP Medical Center.

The first vaccinations will be administered to officials and personnel of VMMC, which will include the hospital's nursing supervisor, administrative division chief and spokesperson, the DND said in a statement.

The agency has received some 100,000 doses of the anti-coronavirus jabs, which were donated from China. The vaccines arrived in the country Sunday.

It plans to initially vaccinate some 14,520 individuals using 29,040 doses, the DND added. The remaining 70,960 doses will be given to the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration approved Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use -- the third jab to receive emergency clearance after those developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, and AstraZeneca and Oxford University.

However, the state medical regulator said it does not recommend giving the vaccine to health-care workers exposed to the disease due to lower efficacy rate.

The vaccine was found 50.65 percent effective against COVID-19 disease in the Brazil trial, which had recruited 12,396 medical workers older than 18 as of Dec. 16 and recorded 253 cases, the company had said.

The success rate from the Turkey trial was 91.25 percent, local researchers said, based on a preliminary analysis of 29 cases. There was a 65.3 percent efficacy rate in the Indonesia trial. - With a report from Reuters