Philippines eyes Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine for seniors


Posted at Mar 17 2021 03:00 PM

Philippines eyes Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine for seniors 1
People queue to claim financial assistance in Pasay City as they remain under community quarantine on March 10, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The Philippines is eyeing giving its 9 million senior citizens the COVID-19 vaccine from Beijing-based Sinovac Biotech, an official leading the inoculation strategy said on Wednesday. 

Authorities have secured a stockpile of 600,000 Sinovac shots so far, and 1.4 million more doses of this vaccine are expected in March. 

Sinovac has shown “very limited” adverse effects and low wastage at just 2 vials, said Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID-19. 

“Titingnan natin iyong possibility na talagang iyong Sinovac din po,” he said, when asked which vaccine the government would give to the elderly. 

(We are looking at the possibility of Sinovac.) 

Senior citizens will get COVID-19 shots after health workers, who are expected to complete the first round of their vaccination in April. The government will "most likely" finish vaccinations of the elderly in May, Galvez said at the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum.

Among the hardest-hit in Asia by the pandemic, the Philippines aims to vaccinate 70 million people or two-thirds of its population this year. 

The Philippines is battling a spike in coronavirus infections, tallying over 4,000 new COVID-19 cases for a fifth straight on Tuesday. 

Video courtesy of Kapihan sa Manila Bay