Solon questions selection of Sinovac COVID vaccine

Published December 26, 2020, 12:14 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

Agusan del Norte Rep. Lawrence Fortun questioned the Philippine government’s decision to select China’s Sinovac  which has an efficacy rate of 50 percent as the COVID-19 vaccine for Filipinos.

(NOEL CELIS / AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

“Why settle for 50 percent efficacy when we can go for the  vaccines with 95 percent efficacy? Let us give our people the best protection they deserve. Buhay ng mamamayang Pilipino ang nakataya dito. (The lives of the Filipino people are at stake here),” Fortun said.

According to the member of the House minority bloc, it would be “nonsense”  for the Filipinos and the Duterte government to choose the China vaccine “at this point.”

He noted that the vaccines of Pfizer and Moderna have up to 95 percent and 94 percent efficacy based on Phase 3 clinical trial results while the China vaccine has yet to complete Phase 3 testing and available information showed only 50 percent efficacy and costing about the same as the vaccines with 94 to 95 percent efficacy.

“Our government must not give in to any overture, pressure, or campaigning by the Chinese government, the Chinese Embassy, or any of their proxies. Our government should abandon any prior verbal agreement they may have had. They should politely decline the offers about Sinovac,” Fortun said. 

“Our DoST (Department of Science and Technology) scientists and DoH (Department of Health) authorities must not give way to any pressure from either the Chinese government or our national political leaders as regards Sinovac.”

Fortun thanked the DoST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) for publicly disclosing that the Sinovac vaccine from China has only 50 percent efficacy.

“They were simply stating how Sinovac is at the minimum range of the bar applicant vaccines are supposed to hurdle. The Filipino people must now express to the IATF and to Malacanang what they prefer to be administered to them when their turn comes for vaccination against COVID-19,” he said. 

He said every Filipino needs only needs common sense to compare the vaccine choices.  “No sane Filipino should allow himself or herself to be injected with a vaccine like Sinovac which barely hurdled the minimum standards.”

“Whatever political game was afoot involving Sinovac, it is now game over, thanks to the DoST scientists who decided to reveal the truth about Sinovac.”

DoST-PCHRD Executive Director Jaime Montoya had earlier described as “acceptable” the  50 percent efficacy of China’s Sinovac vaccine, explaining that “it is the minimum requirement set by the World Health Organization for a vaccine to be used by the country.”

 
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