Duterte ‘perplexed’ over FDA advice not to use Sinovac on health workers exposed to Covid patients
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte was “perplexed” over the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recommendation not to use the Sinovac vaccine on health workers frequently exposed to coronavirus disease patients, Malacañang said Wednesday.
Duterte asked FDA director general Eric Domingo to explain such recommendations even after Sinovac secured an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the agency, according to presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.
“The President expressed his… let’s just say the fact that he is perplexed with the special requirements of the EUA noting that the WHO itself has laid down the minimum threshold to be 50 percent,” Roque said in an online briefing.
Domingo had explained that the vaccine’s efficacy rate on health workers is at 50.4 percent based on Sinovac’s clinical trials conducted in Brazil, making it not the best for health workers treating Covid-19 patients.
This was the reason why it is not best suited for health workers treating Covid-19 patients. But Domingo noted that this is only a recommendation and health workers may still receive it if they want.
“Nirerespeto po ng Presidente ang opinyon ng mga experts kaya let the colatilla remain,” Roque said.
(The President respects the experts’ opinions so we will let the colatilla remain.)
Roque also reiterated that FDA’s advice against administering Sinovac’s vaccine to health workers attending to Covid-19 patients was just a recommendation and health workers may opt for it if they want.
“Hindi po pinagbabawal. Hindi lang po recommended but if the healthcare workers want, they can have it,” he said.
(It’s not forbidden. It’s just not recommended but if the healthcare workers want, they can have it.)
Lawmakers have questioned FDA’s advice, with some saying it was a “case of self-contradiction.”
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