Go: Health experts must ensure safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines

Published February 23, 2021, 10:47 PM

by Mario Casayuran

Health experts must ensure the safety and efficacy of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines to allay fears and help improve public confidence on the National COVID-19 Vaccine Roadmap, Senator Christopher ‘’Bong’’ on Tuesday said.

Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go (OFFICE OF SEN. BONG GO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Go, chairman of the Senate health committee, emphasized that authorities are doing their best to secure sufficient supply of vaccines for the country,         

Furthermore, Go also urged experts, such as those in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to provide clear explanations to the public on the steps and precautions being taken to ensure that lives will be protected when the vaccine program is rolled-out.         

He, likewise, appealed to the public to trust the health experts and rely on credible sources of information in order to be aware and fully understand why vaccination is crucial in overcoming the pandemic towards full recovery.         

Go also sought an explanation from the FDA on its decision not to recommend the use of China’s Sinovac vaccine against COVID-19 on medical frontliners.         

He said that FDA Director General Eric Domingo should explain to the public why they have to set such conditions and why they choose the type of vaccines that would be used by the health workers.        

Go’s statement came after Domingo disclosed that they have already approved the emergency use of Sinovac vaccines in the Philippines but would not recommend the use of this brand to medical frontliners due to its lower efficacy rate of 50.4 percent based on clinical trials worldwide.         

Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. earlier said that a total of 600,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines would be donated to the Philippines by the Chinese government. The Philippines also plans to buy more doses from Sinovac on top of what will be donated.       

While awaiting the vaccine rollout, Go reminded the public to remain vigilant, cooperate with authorities, and trust that the government is doing everything it could to overcome the ongoing crisis.         

Go appealed for understanding from the public for the difficulties encountered in securing the vaccines.      

He emphasized that the government is doing its best to fast track the procurement of the vaccines.