Despite EUA, FDA advises vs using Sinovac on healthcare workers, seniors due to low efficacy

By: Daphne Galvez - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ - | February 22,2021 - 02:10 PM

VACCINE PRODUCTION A worker inspects a batch of vaccines produced at a Beijing factory built by Sinovac, one of 11 Chinese companies approved to carry out clinical trials of potential coronavirus vaccines, in this photo taken in September 2020. —AFP

MANILA, Philippines — Even though the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted China-based drugmaker Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccine an emergency use authorization, it is not recommended to be administered on healthcare workers and senior citizens, who are the top priority population for the government’s vaccination program.

The FDA on Monday announced that it has granted an EUA to Sinovac, a day before the donated shipment of 600,000 vaccine doses from China is set to arrive.

FDA Director General Eric Domingo said the vaccine’s efficacy rate on healthcare workers stands at 50.4%, which makes it not the best vaccine to be given to medical frontliners who are exposed to Covid-19 patients.

The efficacy rate of 50.4% was based on clinical trials conducted in Brazil, Domingo noted.

“The use of Sinovac vaccine on healthcare workers is not recommended as it has an efficacy of 50.4% in this group,” he said in a Laging Handa public briefing.

“Ang nakita sa trials sa Brazil na binigay doon sa mga healthcare workers na nagta-trabaho sa hospital na nagte-treat ng Covid-19 ay 50.4% ang efficacy niya. Mas mabuti naman po ‘yun kaysa sa wala pero ang rekomendasyon ng ating mga expert ay hindi ito ‘yung pinakamagandang bakuna para sa kanila,” Domingo added.

The Sinovac vaccine should also only be administered to clinically healthy individuals aged 18 to 59 years old, making it not suitable for senior citizens.

Sinovac’s efficacy rate varied from 50.4%, 65%, and 91.25% in trials in Brazil, Indonesia, and Turkey.

The Philippines is expected to receive an initial 600,000 Sinovac vaccine doses, which are donated by the Chinese government.

Malacañang earlier said the vaccine doses are set to arrive on Feb. 23, but this schedule may no longer push through since the FDA only announced on Monday that it has granted an emergency use authorization for the vaccine.

The Chinese government would need a few days to process its delivery.

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