Galvez reiterates Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccine 'at par' with Western-made jabs

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 30 2021 05:23 PM

Galvez reiterates Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccine 'at par' with Western-made jabs 1
Workers receive their first Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine shot in a 'symbolic' vaccination at SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City on June 7, 2021, marking the start of vaccination of people under the A4 category. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. on Wednesday said Sinovac's performance against COVID-19 is "at par with Western-made vaccine brands" after several officials urged the government to procure jabs with higher efficacy rates against the virus.

A vaccine expert earlier said it may be more efficient for the Philippines to use vaccines with higher efficacy ratings to quickly attain herd immunity against COVID-19.

"Sinovac is 90 percent effective in preventing intensive care admissions and deaths in Uruguay, and 94 percent effective in protecting health care workers (Indonesia)," Galvez said in a statement.

"This shows that Sinovac is performing well and at par with Western-made vaccine brands. In addition, the China-made vaccine is being used in more than 28 countries around the world," he said.

A study from Brazil found that Sinovac can prevent severe cases of COVID-19 by 100 percent, but was only 51 percent effective in preventing mild to moderate cases of the disease, said Dr. Rontgene Solante, member of the Philippine vaccine expert panel.

Galvez guaranteed that health experts scrutinized all vaccines being used in the Philippines' immunization program against COVID-19.

"We listen and follow the panel’s assessment on what vaccines to procure to ensure that they are all safe and effective regardless of brands," he said.

"We ensure that all the policies that we craft and implement are science-based and evidence-based," he added.

"I will always consider the advice of our experts and not from people who do not want to listen to more prudent and deliberate decision-making," he said.

The Philippines' Food and Drug Administration has granted emergency use authorization for the vaccine candidates of Pfizer, Sinovac, Gamaleya Institute, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Bharat Biotech, and Moderna, as well as for the donated 1,000 doses of Sinopharm intended for the Presidential Security Group.

So far, more than 17.4 million doses of vaccines from Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna and Gamaleya have been shipped to the country.

As of June 27, the Philippines has fully vaccinated 2.5 million individuals against COVID-19. More than 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered since the rollout last March 1.

At least 58 million are being targeted for full vaccination to achieve herd immunity against the coronavirus.



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