Palace: 600,000 doses of Sinovac to arrive on Sunday; health workers can get jabs

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque holds a press briefing on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 (Screenshot of RTVM/Palace press briefing)


(Eagle News) — Malacanang said that the 600,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines from China will be coming this Sunday, Feb. 28, and that health care workers can be vaccinated if they want to.

“I have gotten confirmation that we are getting the Sinovac vaccines on Sunday,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Palace press briefing on Thursday.

These 600,000 Sinovac doses that will come on Sunday are all for for free, since these are donations by the Chinese government, he said.

And since Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director General Eric Domingo had clarified that Sinovac vaccines can be given to health care workers, Roque said that the Sinovac vaccinations can begin as early as Monday at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) if the arrangements are made.

-250k health workers can get Sinovac jabs-

The Palace spokesperson said that with the clarification from the FDA, 250,000 health care workers can already receive their first doses of Sinovac vaccines, and 50,000 members of the Philippine military for the 100,000 doses donated for soldiers.

The FDA is not prohibiting the use of the vaccine for health care workers, Roque said. It is still an option for health workers, although the FDA has given its view earlier that because of the 50.4 percent efficacy in a clinical trial in Brazil for health care workers, it is recommending vaccines with higher efficacy to be given the medical frontliners.

-Roque: “Wala pong pilitan yan”

Alam nyo po, it’s up to the health care workers. Nilinaw na po ni Dr. Domingo. It’s not a contra-indication. Hindi po pinagbabawal. Wala pong pilitan yan,” Roque said on Thursday, Feb. 25.

PGH director Dr. Gerardo “Gap” Legaspi said that they are willing to have the first vaccination for Sinovac at the PGH on Monday, March 1.

Ngayon ko lang nalaman … na darating na sa Linggo. I’m sure that the (PGH) community is ready and welcome,” Dr. Legaspi said regarding the possibility of vaccinations using the Sinovac jabs on Monday.

“I will give the exact details as soon as I get off this briefing. I will coordinate with you for that Monday’s event,” he told Roque during the press briefing.

-First vaccination of Sinovac, possible at PGH-

Legaspi said that in a previous survey that they conducted, about 94 percent of the PGH community are ready to be vaccinated against COVID-19, but they were asked with the initial expectation that the first vaccines that will arrive are those from Pfizer-BioNTech which had a reported effifacy rate of 95 percent.

“Nung kinuha ang consent na ito ay ang Pfizer vaccine ang pinaghahandaan,” the UP-PGH director said.

He said he does not know how many of the PGH health workers will arrive on Monday for vaccination with the Sinovac vaccines, but he said that early on, there were 75 percent who said they were willing to get the vaccines that would first arrive in the country, no matter what vaccines there are, as long as they have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Legaspi also stressed that the Sinovac vaccines, although it has a 50.4 percent efficacy in clinical trials in Brazil on health care workers, only meant that the vaccines are still 100 percent effective in preventing a person from getting severe COVID-19 symptoms, but that 50.4 percent are protected from getting even mild symptoms.

(Eagle News Service)