Duque, DOH workers willing to take first COVID-19 vaccines to prove safety


Posted at Dec 07 2020 12:01 PM

Duque, DOH workers willing to take first COVID-19 vaccines to prove safety 1
Health Secretary Francisco Duque speaks to the crowd during a visit at Divisoria in Manila on December 3, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The Department of Health on Monday said it would be willing to have its officials and employees inoculated with the first COVID-19 vaccines to be used in the Philippines to allay fears about safety and efficacy.

“So ang Secretary of Health po natin at ang buong Department of Health, if I may say, bukas tayo kung kailangan tayo mauuna sa pagpapabakuna ay magpapabakuna po tayo,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a virtual briefing.

(So the Secretary of Health and the whole Department of Health are open to that if we really need to go first, we are willing be vaccinated first.)

This after Senator Christopher “Bong” Go said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. should try the vaccine first to assure the public.

Vergeire said Duque was “open to that” and that the vaccines that will be allowed to enter the country have already passed Phase 3 clinical trials, which meant that "the vaccines are safe" and its efficacy "tested.”

Philippines will also study the vaccines through the vaccine expert panel and the Food and Drug Administration.

“So wala po tayong dapat ikabahala para sa bakuna na ito,” she said, adding that the efficacy level should be high and within the target percentage.

(So we should not worry about this vaccine.)

Until now, the Philippines has yet to approve a COVID-19 vaccine for public use although there are a few applying for clinical trials in the country. The World Health Organization is also still in the process of running clinical trials although the United Kingdom already approved the vaccine of Pfizer and BioNTech.

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