Sinovac vaccine remains effective vs severe COVID-19, says DOH
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) reiterated on Friday that the COVID-19 vaccine made by Chinese firm Sinovac Biotech remains effective against severe infection despite a report that over 350 doctors and medical workers in Indonesia contracted the coronavirus despite being vaccinated with it.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said real-world studies showed that vaccines being used in the country are effective against severe infection for COVID-19.
“‘Yung real-world studies nagpalabas na, na lahat ng bakuna pati ‘yung mga ginagamit natin dito sa ating bansa ay pantay-pantay sa effectiveness. Ibig sabihin it can prevent severe infections and hospitalization,” she told an online press briefing.
(Real-world studies showed that all vaccines, including those being used in the country, are all effective. It means it can prevent severe infections and hospitalization.)
She noted however that some manufacturers, including Sinovac, have yet to provide complete data on the effects of COVID-19 variants of concern on the efficacy of their vaccines.
Vergeire made the assurance in response to a report about more than 350 doctors and medical workers who tested positive for COVID-19 in Indonesia despite being vaccinated with Sinovac’s CoronaVac vaccine. Dozens have also been hospitalized.
However, Vergeire advised the public to be cautious in interpreting information like this. She said the data for the infected health workers remains incomplete.
“Even our experts read this and reviewed this at maraming pa tayong hinahanap na iba pang datos to complete our analysis base sa kanilang report,” she said.
(Even our experts have reviewed this and we are still looking for other data to complete our analysis based on their report.)
Vergeire noted that the data also did not indicate if there was a controlled group considered. She added that the number of infected individuals should likewise be compared to the total number of health workers vaccinated with Sinovac’s product in Indonesia.
“One expert was saying, let’s say may limang libo silang health care workers diyan sa mga hospital nila (they have 5,000 health workers in their hospitals), but the fact of the matter would be that it was reported na 300 ‘yung nagkasakit (became sick),” she explained.
“Pangalawa, ‘yung mga namatay o di kaya ay naospital ay kakaunti lang, and again let’s go back kung ilan ba ‘yung healthcare workers para masabi natin itong effectiveness,” she added.
(Secondly, the number of those who died or were hospitalized is only small, and again let’s go back to the total number of healthcare workers so we can compute the efficacy.)
Vergeire then reiterated that the public should get vaccinated and not be doubtful of vaccines approved by the government.
“Let’s get the vaccine. Let us not be doubtful. Let’s give that confidence kahit may mga lumalabas na mga ganitong balita. Ang mga bakuna ay isa sa mga susi para malabanan natin ang pandemyang ito,” she said.
(Let’s get the vaccine. Let’s not be doubtful. Let’s have that confidence despite these reports. Vaccines are one of the keys to fight this pandemic.) Sofia Vertucio, trainee
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