Low efficacy rate will not build public trust in COVID-19 vaccines — VP Leni

It would have been better if the government’s choice for the coronavirus vaccine has higher efficacy rate because it would build public trust and confidence in vaccines, Vice President Leni Robredo said.

Vice President Leni Robredo

Robredo cited the pending procurement of China-made Sinovac Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine, which has 50 percent efficacy rate.
It is expected to arrive by March, which would make it among the first vaccines to be administered to Filipinos.
“Ang pinaka-kampanya nga natin iyong confidence, ‘di ba, iyong tiwala sa bakuna. Kapag alam ng tao na ang baba ng efficiency o effectivity ng vaccine na ito, ‘di ba, mababa din iyong tiwala (Our major campaign is for confidence, trust in the vaccine. If the people know the efficiency or effectivity of the vaccine is low, the trust will also be less),” she said over dzXL.
The vice president noted some COVID-19 vaccines have high efficacy rate that will encourage people to be vaccinated against the infectious disease.
“Pero kapag alam niya na itong klaseng vaccine na ito, ganito iyong level ng effectivity, ito iyong mga nakuha noong mga kung sino, saang mga bansa, mas tataas iyong tiwala niya sa bakuna, mas maraming magpapabakuna (But if they know the kind of vaccine has this level of effectivity in other countries, their trust in vaccines will increase, many will be vaccinated),” she said.
The Department of Health (DOH) has assured that the 50 percent efficacy rate of Sinovac is within the World Health Organization’s (WHO) minimum requirement.
But in comparison with other vaccines from the United States, Pfizer and Moderna have an efficacy rate of 95 percent and 94.1 percent, respectively.
The vice president underscored the need for the government to explain to the public why it chose Sinovac, citing it is more expensive than the other COVID-19 vaccines with higher efficacy rates.
“Marahil totoo na iyong 50 percent acceptable na iyon, pero mahirap kasing ipaliwanag na mayroong iba in the market na mas mura, mas mataas nang di hamak iyong level of —iyong pipiliin natin na mas mahal, mas mababa (It’s true that 50 percent is acceptable, pero it will be difficult to explain other vaccines are cheaper with higher level of efficacy, but we will choose more expensive with a lower efficacy),” she said.