Sinovac says vaccine may be used on health workers, elderly even with just above 50% efficacy
MANILA, Philippines — Amid the advice of the Philippines’ Food and Drug Administration, Sinovac Biotech on Wednesday still recommend that its vaccine be administered on the elderly and health workers exposed to the disease.
“I think generally, Sinovac would recommend, not only for the Philippines but also for other countries using our vaccines that the products should be used among the healthcare workers as well as the elderly,” Sinovac’s general manager Helen Yang said in an interview over ABS-CBN News Channel.
FDA Director General Eric Domingo, in advising against Sinovac, explained that the vaccine’s efficacy rate on health workers is only at 50.4 percent, citing clinical trials conducted in Brazil, while trials for the older age group have yet to be conducted.
For lack of sufficient data, he said, the FDA deemed it prudent to advice against those populations who are high risk for transmission — health workers treating Covid-19 patients and senior citizens.
Without directly addressing the FDA’s concerns on administering the vaccine on the elderly and health workers, Yang said that despite the 50.4 percent efficacy rate from the clinical trials in Brazil, the Sinovac vaccine proved that it “can provide 100 percent efficacy on fatal cases and even for moderate cases that need medical assistance.”
“Regarding the Brazil trial, it is the most challenging environment. No one else could have ever conducted [a] trial among healthcare workers who are directly exposed to the Covid-19 virus, in the environment. And even with that challenging environment, our trial still suggests that the vaccine is effective, it’s above 50 percent,” Yang said.
“And I think as a manufacturer, we do recommend that the reason for using a vaccine is to lower the burden of our social healthcare system,” she added.
In Indonesia, the first Sinovac shots it received were given to its health workers. It has also approved the use of Sinovac vaccines for its elderly population.
Meanwhile, the Philippines is soon expected to receive 600,000 doses of Sinovac jabs which are donated by the Chinese government.
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