Inoculation of Metro Manila doctors boosts demand for Sinovac vaccine – Galvez
MANILA, Philippines — The demand for CoronaVac, the COVID-19 vaccine made by Chinese firm Sinovac BioTech, increased after doctors in Metro Manila were inoculated with it, despite doubts about its efficacy, according to Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., the vaccine czar.
Galvez made this observation during the pre-recorded briefing with President Rodrigo Duterte, which aired late on Monday.
“What we saw, sir, was that [the demand] rose when they saw that we inoculated prominent doctors,” he told Duterte.
Galvez named two doctors who were inoculated on the first day of the CoronaVac rollout — Dr. Gerardo “Gap” Legaspi, director of the Philippine General Hospital, and Dr. Edsel Salvana, director of the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at the National Institutes of Health at the University of the Philippines Manila.
Galvez was also among the first to be vaccinated along with other officials — like Food and Drug Administration Director General Eric Domingo, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Benhur Abalos, and National Task Force against Covid-19 Deputy Implementer Vince Dizon.
The Philippines was able to kickstart its Covid-19 vaccination program after receiving some 600,000 doses of CoronaVac from China.
According to Galvez, the vaccines will be administered to 216,000 people in Metro Manila, Baguio City, Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, and Bicol.
Some 26,000 people will be vaccinated in the Visayas and 24,000 will be vaccinated in Mindanao.
According to him, there will be more or less 70,000 doses left for 35,000 people. The remaining doses may be reallocated, he added, “just in case the uptake increases.”
Sinovac vaccines are slated to be delivered to Cebu City and Davao City in the first week of March.
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