A House lawmaker on Wednesday called on the Department of Health (DOH) to recommend a COVID-19 vaccine that would be suitable for the country’s senior citizens.
Rep. Rodolfo “Ompong” Ordanes of the Senior Citizens’ Party-list said majority of the 9.8 million senior citizens in the Philippines are willing to get vaccinated against COVID-19 but have voiced their concerns on vaccine brands that have not been recommended for use on the elderly.
Ordanes cited China-made Sinovac as an example, which the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did not recommend for ages 60 years and up.
“We were initially happy because we were included in the priority list of those who would be given the vaccine, but it turned out there were limitations about this vaccine. Sinovac, the first one to arrive, can only be administered up to until 59 years old,” Ordanes said during the Ugnayan sa Batasan virtual forum.
“So they became anxious, because as you know, majority of our elderly citizens are already vulnerable and getting vaccinated might harm them instead,” he added.
That is why, he said, it is crucial for the DOH to recommend a COVID-19 vaccine brand that would be appropriate for senior citizens.
“That’s what we are asking from the DOH. What is the best vaccine for us senior citizens?” Ordanes said.
“For me, I think, it would be best if we get vaccinated with a brand that would be recommended by the DOH,” he stressed.
The Philippines is reportedly in talks with India for the supply of eight million doses of Covaxin developed by India. It’s registration for emergency use is still pending with the FDA.
The country is also expecting 117,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech from the COVAX Facility on April.
Still, Ordanes said, senior citizens should first consult their doctors before taking a COVID-19 jab.
“My advise is that we should first consult with our doctors before getting inoculated,” Ordanes said.