DOST chief willing to be vaccinated with any brand

Published March 3, 2021, 9:47 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña said Wednesday, March 1, he was not after a particular brand of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and he was willing to be vaccinated anytime.

Department of Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato dela Peña (TOTO LOZANO/ Presidential Photo / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

The 71-year-old DOST chief expressed readiness to be vaccinated with China’s Sinovac Biotech vaccine or CoronaVac.

“Yes, pero hindi yata ibinibigay sa mga 70 plus (But, it is not being given yet to those aged 70 plus,” he told the Manila Bulletin when asked if he is willing to receive the Sinovac jab.

De la Peña said he and his wife were ready to participate in the vaccination program of the Quezon City government.

“Marge-register kami for vaccination sa barangay sa QC LGU (local government unit) (We will register for vaccination in our barangay in Quezon City LGU),” he said.

Health professionals and government officials were among those the first batch of recipients of the Sinovac vaccines donated by the Chinese government on Monday, March 1.

China’s Sinovac Biotech is expected to start its vaccine clinical trials among the elderly in April, Dr. Nina Gloriani, who heads the DOST’s vaccine expert panel, said in a radio over the weekend.

She said the Phase 3 trials of Sinovac Biotech were about to begin in April, four months after the vaccine developer got the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct independent clinical trials in the country this year. Sinovac secured FDA’s approval on Jan. 15.

Aside from Sinovac Biotech, Clover Pharmaceuticals, and Janssen Pharmaceuticals were given the green light to conduct their Phase 3 clinical trials in the Philippines.