Palace welcomes Sinovac inclusion in WHO emergency use list

Published June 2, 2021, 10:15 AM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang was happy with the inclusion of the coronavirus vaccine CoronaVac made by Sinovac in the emergency use list (EUL) of the World Health Organization (WHO), saying this would further boost the public’s confidence about the shots.

President Rodrigo Duterte holds a vial of coronavirus vaccine developed by Sinovac during the turnover of the Chinese-made vaccines in Villamor Air Base, Pasay City on February 28, 2021. (Malacañang)

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after the WHO approved the vaccine brand for emergency use listing, making Sinovac the second Chinese shot to be used in poor countries.

In an interview with State-run PTV-4, Roque was not able to hide his happiness about the recent development, especially since it is not only the local Food and Drug Administration (FDA) saying that the Sinovac vaccine is safe.

“Nagagalak po ako sa balitang ‘yan dahil ‘yan po ay siguradong makaka-boost ng kumpyansa sa bakuna (I am happy with this news because this will surely boost the public’s confidence in vaccines),” he said.

“Hindi lang po FDA ng Pilipinas ang nagsabi na ligats at epektibo ang Sinovac pati na rin po ang ating WHO dahil yun po ang ibig sabihin kapag nakasama sa emergency use list ng WHO (It’s not just our FDA saying that Sinovac is safe and effective but also the WHO because that is what it means to be included in their EUL),” he added.

Being included in the WHO’s EUL is a signal to national regulators of a product’s safety and efficacy.

The recent development will allow the Sinovac vaccine to be included in COVAX, the program providing vaccines mainly for poor countries, which is recently facing supply problems due to limitations on Indian exports.

The WHO’s independent panel of experts has recommended Sinovac’s vaccine for adults over 18 while no upper age limit was set as data showed that the shots were likely to have a protective effect in older people.

The country rolled out its vaccination program against COVID-19 on March 1. The Philippines has obtained 5.5 million doses of Sinovac vaccines since February 28.

So far, the Philippines has administered 5,180,721 doses of COVID-19 as of May 30, with 1,206,371 individuals fully vaccinated.