Despite rollout, HTAC evaluation on Sinovac ongoing — Duque
MANILA, Philippines — The Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC) is doing an ethics and cost-effectiveness review for the procured Sinovac vaccines in March even as the donated China-made vaccine doses were already rolled out to health workers, Health Chief Francisco Duque III said Tuesday.
“The HTAC is doing evaluation already of Sinovac because we will also procure. In fact, what we expect is about maybe third week of March, we will be able to see the procured 1 million doses of Sinovac,” Duque said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel, reacting to criticisms that the donated Sinovac shots should undergo HTAC evaluation, which seeks to assess the cost, ethics, and community impact of drugs that would be given to the public.
“They [HTAC] are already doing it. Ang problema lang late natanggap ang mga trial data from Sinovac (The problem is the trial data from Sinovac came in late),” the health chief added.
When asked if the 1 million procured Sinovac vaccines will indeed arrive in March, Duque said: “It’s hard to say confirmed. I don’t want to give a date unless there is really a flight number, how or the plane is going to land.”
Previously, an advisory group of the Department of Health, which also recommended the use of Sinovac jabs to health workers, said the donated Sinovac shots are not yet required to undergo health technology because these were not procured by the government.
Meanwhile, Duque said vaccine shots from British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca and American drugmaker Pfizer already underwent HTAC evaluation.
“I recall that HTAC did an evaluation of both Pfizer and AstraZeneca because the difference is that AstraZeneca and Pfizer have submitted their trial data much earlier. These trial data were published in journals. There was time for HTAC to do it,” Duque said.
On Monday, some government officials and health workers were inoculated using the vaccine shots donated by China during the start of the government’s vaccination program.
The China-made vaccines have 100 percent efficacy on fatal cases and even for moderate cases that need medical assistance, Sinovac’s general manager Helen Yang earlier said.
Over the weekend, the Philippine General Hospital workers and personnel called out the government over the roll out of Sinovac doses, saying the China-made vaccines should undergo HTAC evaluation, which they expected to “formulate recommendations with judicious haste.”
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