DOH, FDA allow use of CoronaVac on senior citizens
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday allowed the use of CoronaVac, the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Chinese drugmaker Sinovac Biotech, on senior citizens.
This came after the country’s vaccine experts panel’s recommendation to use the vaccine on the elderly.
The agencies also considered vaccine shortage and the “the growing need to protect seniors amid the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the country.”
The DOH and FDA stressed, however, that vaccination of senior citizens with CoronaVac should be preceded by a thorough assessment of the individual’s health status and risk of exposure.
“After considering the recommendation of the experts and the current situation of high COVID-19 transmission and limited available vaccines, the FDA is allowing the use of Sinovac [CoronaVac] on senior citizens,” FDA Director General Eric Domingo said in a statement.
“Vaccination should be preceded by an evaluation of the person’s health status and exposure risk to assure that benefits of vaccination outweigh risks,” he added.
The agencies urged the public, especially senior citizens and persons with comorbidities, to register and participate in the COVID-19 vaccination program.
Previously, the FDA did not prescribe CoronaVac on senior citizens, claiming that it could be used only on clinically healthy individuals aged 18 to 59 years.
Currently, the government is immunizing older people with AstraZeneca vaccines.
CoronaVac’s efficacy rate in trials performed in Brazil, Indonesia, and Turkey ranged between 50.4 percent, 65 percent, and 91.25 percent.
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