Russia COVID-19 vaccine okay for elderly, says FDA chief


Posted at Mar 22 2021 10:57 PM

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Sputnik V, the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Russia's Gamaleya Institute which has been approved for emergency use in the Philippines, can be used by the elderly, the Food and Drug Administration said on Monday. 

Around 2,000 people or about 10 percent of the vaccine's clinical trial participants are senior citizens, said FDA Director General Dr. Eric Domingo, quoting peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet. 

"Iyong senior citizens na iyon, nakita na maganda rin ang safety. At ang efficacy sa kanila, mataas din, katulad ng mga bata," he said in a televised public briefing.

(Those senior citizens showed that the safety and efficacy is also high with them, like with younger people.)

The FDA last week cleared Sputnik V for emergency use after its late-stage trial results showed the vaccine was 91.6 percent effective in preventing COVID-19.

The efficacy rate of the vaccine, which comes in a 2-dose regimen administered 3 weeks apart, is consistent among all age groups 18 and older, Domingo had said. 

Russia COVID-19 vaccine okay for elderly, says FDA chief 1
Vials of the Sputnik V (Gam-COVID-Vac) vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are pictured in a carriage of the Academician Fyodor Uglov medical train, at a railway station in the town of Tulun in Irkutsk Region, Russia March 16, 2021. Evgeny Kozyrev, Reuters

About 25 percent of the vaccine's trial participant also had comorbidities like hypertension, and the result on them was good, added Domingo. 

"Mas wide po ang kaniyang indication at mas marami pong taong maaaring paggamitan ng bakuna," he said. 

(Its indication is wider and it can be used for a wider group of people.)

Two other COVID-19 vaccines that the FDA approved can be used for the elderly, namely Pfizer and AstraZeneca, said Domingo. 

The vaccine from Beijing-based Sinovac Biotech, which also has emergency use authorization in the country, was not tested on the elderly, he said. 

"Once naman nagbigay ng data ang ating manufacturer at mapakita nila na maganda rin ang resulta, madali naman nating maisama ang grupong iyon o ma-revise ang EUA," said Domingo. 

(Once our manufacturer shows that the result is also good, we can include that age group and revise the EUA.)

Battling a surge in coronavirus infections, the Philippines has so far received 600,000 Sinovac shots and 525,600 AstraZeneca doses. Vaccination in the country is now entering its fourth week.