A member of the country’s vaccine expert panel (VEP) is seeing President Duterte’s decision to receive the Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine as a boon for the government’s vaccination program, saying it would encourage more people to get themselves vaccinated.
Dr. Rontgene Solante, chief of the Adult Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine unit of San Lazaro Hospital, said President Duterte’s gesture could further boost the government’s initiative to inoculate 70 to 80 million Filipinos by end of the year to achieve herd immunity.
“Well, that is the upside of that dahil kung ang Presidente mo nagpapakita na naniniwala sya na ang bakuna ay isang parte ng ating intervention sa pagsugpo ng COVID-19, malaking bagay yan at confidence sa atin na nakita natin ang leader natin ay nagpapabakuna (Well, that is the upside of that because if your President shows that he believes that the vaccine is a part of our intervention in fighting COVID-19, that is a big factor and confidence in us that we have seen our leader getting vaccinated),” he said in an interview over ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo.
President Duterte received his first shot of COVID-19 vaccine in Malacañang on Monday evening, May 3.
It was Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III who administered the Sinopharm vaccine to Duterte.
Solante noted that based on published data, Sinopharm has an efficacy rate of 79 percent against COVID-19, which is higher than Sinovac, also a Chinese-made vaccine.
He said there is no available data yet on how many have already received the Sinopharm vaccine and the percentage of recipients that developed severe COVID after getting the jab.
He said Sinopharm has yet to apply for an EUA of its COVID-19 jab in the country
Duque explained that the Sinopharm vaccine was covered by the compassionate special permit (CSP) issued to the Presidential Security Group Hospital by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
He said the decision was also based from the prescription of Duterte’s personal physician.