WHO ‘currently unable to comment’ on FDA’s advice regarding Sinovac jab
MANILA, Philippines — The World Health Organization (WHO) said Tuesday it is “unable to comment” for now on the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recommendation not to use Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccine to elderly people and healthcare workers at high risk of exposure to the coronavirus.
“Our understanding is that there may have been some information that was shared with the FDA in the Philippines that made it necessary for the Philippines’ FDA to decide on this limited use of vaccines in I believe it is 18 to 59 year age group,” Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe said in an online media forum.
“WHO currently is unable to comment on this because we are not privy to information that came out from the trials that the manufacturers have shared with the pre-qualification team in headquarters who are doing the evaluation of the EUL (emergency use listing) process,” he added.
According to Abeyasinghe, the WHO is still conducting an evaluation of Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccine called CoronaVac and that could be finished by March.
“We are not privy to all the information being shared by the manufacturers with our regulations team for evaluation of the vaccine, so we cannot comment at this point in time on reported efficacies which are basically being taken out of media articles,” he said.
On Monday, the Philippines’ FDA said it granted an emergency use authorization (EUA) to Sinovac’s CoronaVac.
However, FDA also said the China-made vaccine is not recommended for frontline health workers at high risk of exposure to the coronavirus and elderly people due to its varying levels of efficacy.
FDA Director-General Eric Domingo likewise said CoronaVac should only be administered to clinically healthy individuals 18 to 59 years old.
On Monday, senators learned that some 1.5 million doses of China’s Sinovac vaccine being procured by the government are expected to arrive in the country before the end of March. This will be on top of the 600,000 Sinovac doses donated by China that are supposed to be delivered this week.
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