Pangilinan supports PGH doctors’ call for review of Sinovac

Published February 28, 2021, 4:41 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on Sunday said he supports the call of the doctors  and medical staff of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) for an immediate review and recommendation on the use of Sinovac vaccines, the first anti-COVID-19 vaccine scheduled to arrive today in the Philippines. 


Pangilinan said he shares the sentiment of the PGH Physicians’ Association for a science-based information about the vaccines that would be used by the government for its COVID-19 nationwide vaccination program.
The group has sought appraisal of the Chinese-made vaccine “to facilitate individual informed decision-making” before it is administered to the population. In making the call, the group emphasized that the PGH’s ideals of ethical and evidence-based medicine” should be upheld.
“Calling on Dr. Marita Reyes of HTAC (Health Technology Assessment Council). You promised us in the Senate Committee of the Whole hearings last January that you would not allow politics to interfere with your decision,” Pangilinan said on his Twitter post.
“We trust your words. Please make your decision on Sinovac known soonest,” he stressed.
Pangilinan said that in the face of the threat of COVID-19, it is best for the people to listen to experts. “Our doctors in PGH are the best. Let’s listen to them,” he stressed.
“Sinovac, being the only available vaccine for now, must be reviewed by HTAC. Purchased or donated. No vaccine that will arrive and will be used in the country should be exempted from this requirement,” the lawmaker stressed.
Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go, however, said the PGH officials fortunately now have the option to choose which vaccine to use since a shipment of 525,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines are set to arrive on Monday, March 1 through the COVAX facility.
Go said that when President Duterte learned of the concerns of the PGH doctors, he was still bent on pushing for the use of Sinovac “because he cannot afford to delay” the vaccination program even for a day.
“Good thing, we were told by COVAX that the AstraZeneca vaccines will arrive on Monday. So now they have a choice, our frontliners, have a choice which vaccine they wish to use,” Go said.
“No one is forced to get vaccinated, this is voluntary. The 525,000 is already sufficient to start off with our frontliners who really wish to get vaccinated and be protected as they go about their jobs,” he stressed.