Duque, Galvez to get Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccine on Monday, says Go
MANILA, Philippines — Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. will get vaccinated on Monday morning with the Covid-19 vaccine developed by China-based Sinovac in a bid to build up public confidence in the government’s inoculation program.
This was according to Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, who said some Cabinet secretaries will also join Duque and Galvez.
Galvez will be vaccinated at the PGH while Duque will get his anti-Covid shot either at the Lung Center of the Philippines or the East Avenue Medical Center, according to Go.
“Bukas ng umaga magpapabakuna si Sec. Galvez. Simultaneous po magpapabakuna si Sec. Galvez, dito sa isang ospital, si Sec. Duque naman yata sa Lung Center,” Go said in an interview on dzBB Sunday.
(Sec. Galvez will have himself vaccinated tomorrow in a hospital. Sec. Duque I think will be vaccinated at the Lung Center of the Philippines.)
Asked if the officials will get inoculated with Sinovac’s vaccine, the senator answered in the affirmative.
“Yun po ang gagamitin nila bukas kasi wala pa naman pong ibang bakuna bukas ng umaga, mauna na po silang magpabakuna para ipakita po sa publiko na magtiwala po tayo sa ating gobyerno,” said Go, who chairs the Senate’s Health Committee.
(That’s what will be administered tomorrow (Sinovac) since that’s the only one available so far. They will be vaccinated to bolster public confidence in Covid-19 vaccines.)
“Yung head po ng PGH (Philippine General Hospital) magpapabakuna. Meron din pong secretaries na magpapabakuna sabay-sabay po bukas ng umaga,” he added.
(The head of PGH will also be vaccinated. Several secretaries will likewise be vaccinated tomorrow morning.)
Meanwhile, Go said he and President Duterte will get vaccinated together. The vaccine brand, however, is still subject to the approval of the doctor of 75-year-old Duterte.
“Depende po ‘yan sa kanyang doktor. ‘Pag sinabi niyang puwede ito, pag sinabing Sinovac, Sinopharm or AstraZeneca o Moderna, kung ano ang sinabi ng doktor sa kanya, ‘yun ang ituturok sa kanya,” Go said.
“Pero hindi na po question kung magpapabakuna siya o hindi. Sure na po na magpapabakuna dahil kailangan pong ipakita ng Pangulo na dapat pong magpabakuna yung ating mga kababayan,” he added.
Some 600,000 doses of the vaccine developed by China-based Sinovac donated by the Chinese government are expected to arrive Sunday afternoon.
Meanwhile, 525,600 doses of Covid-19 vaccine developed by British-Swede pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca are expected to be to arrive on Monday, March 1.
The AztraZeneca delivery is part of the first round of allocated doses from the World Health Organization-led Covax facility.
So far, the vaccines developed by Pfizer, AztraZeneca and Sinovac have secured an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Despite the EUA granted for Sinovac’s vaccine, the FDA earlier said it was not recommended for the use of healthcare workers and senior citizens, who are the top priority population for the government’s vaccination program.
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 exposed to Covid-19 patients.
The National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (Nitag) eventually recommended the use of the said vaccine for health workers. The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) approved this recommendation.
An association of doctors at the PGH, however, insisted that the vaccine must first undergo an appraisal before it is administered to health care workers at the state-run hospital, noting that it met sweeping disapproval from its residents and fellows.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.