PGH chaplain to wait for ‘best’ COVID-19 vaccines to arrive in PH

Published March 1, 2021, 5:03 PM

by Leslie Ann Aquino

A chaplain of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH)  would rather wait for other coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines to arrive in the country.

(Photo by Phill Magakoe / AFP / FILE PHOTO)

“I’d rather wait for the best one kung meron man darating. Kasi sinasabi naman nilang meron. Hindi naman siya parang ‘yan lang ang darating na kailangan natin or ‘yan lang ang vaccine mayroon na kailangan natin to take the risk for the sake also of the people we serve, our patients and to all frontliners na nandirito (I’d rather wait for the best one if there is one coming. They say there is. It’s not as if that is the only thing we need or the only vaccine we need to take the risk for the sake of the people we serve, our patients and to all frontliners who are here), ” Father Marlito Ocon told church-run Radio Veritas Monday, March 1.

“Once na mabakunahan ka ng Sinovac, by the time na dumating yung Pfizer or other better vaccines hindi ka na maaaring magpabakuna ng iba pang vaccine (Once you get vaccinated by Sinovac, by the time the Pfizer or other better vaccines arrive, you will not be able to get another vaccine),” he added.

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Emergency Use Authority (EUA) for the COVID-19 vaccine of China’s Sinovac Biotech.

FDA Director General Undersecretary Eric Domingo said that all conditions for an EUA were present and the benefits of using the vaccine outweigh the known and potential risks.

He said interim data also showed that when the vaccine is used on clinically healthy members of a community aged 18 to 59, it has an efficacy rate of 65.3 to 91.2 percent.

However, he said, it has a lower efficacy rate of 50.4 percent when used on healthcare workers exposed to COVID-19.

On Monday, the government conducted the kickoff of the vaccination drive in the country.

Among the hospitals in Metro Manila that received the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Sinovac Biotech Ltd. was Philippine General Hospital (PGH).

The donated COVID-19 vaccines from China arrived in the country Sunday, Feb. 28.