Sinovac vaccine’s 50% efficacy is acceptable—DOST

By: Darryl John Esguerra - Reporter / @DJEsguerraINQ - Inquirer.net | December 24,2020 - 02:54 PM

MANILA, Philippines — The 50% efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine of China’s Sinovac Biotech is “acceptable” as it is within the World Health Organization’s (WHO) minimum requirement, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said on Thursday.

Brazilian researchers reportedly said CoronaVac, Sinovac’s vaccine, is more than 50% effective based on trial data.

“The 50% efficacy is acceptable because that is the minimum requirement set by the World Health Organization for a vaccine to be used by a country,” Jaime Montoya, executive director of the DOST’s Philippine Council for Health Research and Development.

“We have to also bear in mind that a vaccine efficacy may actually change – it may go up or it may go down as more and more people are using it when they are actually rolled out,” he added.

Montoya noted that 50% rate is the vaccine’s “overall efficacy” and could be higher “if we actually break them down into groups.”

“Maybe it is more effective in a particular group of people – maybe healthcare workers, maybe in the elderly, maybe with those with co-existing morbidity so we have to look at them. So we have to also look at where they are actually going to be most useful, in what group, before we can actually make a decision,” he said.

The government is banking on the Sinovac vaccine to be the first to reach the Philippines with officials saying it may arrive in the first quarter of 2021.

The government is looking to secure up to 25 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine.

The country has so far formally secured 2.6 million doses of vaccine from British drugmaker AstraZeneca, which are expected to arrive in the second quarter of 2021. [ac]

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TAGS: CoronaVac, DOST, minimum requirement, Sinovac Biotech Ltd.

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