All coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines, including the Sinovac vaccine, are effective in preventing the severe form of the viral illness and hospitalization, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Friday, June 18.
DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire allayed the public’s concern on the effectiveness of the Sinovac vaccine after it was reported that at least 300 Indonesian healthcare workers got COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated using the China-made vaccine.
“Let’s get the vaccine. Let us not be doubtful. Let’s give that confidence… Iyan pong mga bakuna ay isang susi para malabanan po natin ang pandemyang ito (Those vaccines are a key for us to fight this pandemic),” said Vergeire during a media forum.
“Yung real world studies po nagpalabas na lahat ng bakuna, pati yung mga ginagamit natin dito sa ating bansa, ay pantay-pantay sa effectiveness, ibig sabihin it can prevent severe infections and hospitalizations (The real world studies have shown that all vaccines, including the ones we use here in our country, are equal in effectiveness, meaning it can prevent severe infections and hospitalizations),” she added.
The reports about the Indonesian healthcare workers need more studies before making a final conclusion, said Vergeire.
“Hindi po natin makakaila na meron talagang breakthrough infections…Pero kailangan pa rin po natin malaman ang mga kumpletong datos para ating ma-analyze maigi (We can’t deny that there are really breakthrough infections … But we still need to know the complete data so that we can analyze it properly),” she said.
Vergeire also reminded the public to be “cautious” in interpreting data about COVID-19 vaccines.
“Kailangan very cautious tayo sa pag-interpret ng mga ganitong datos. Even our experts read and reviewed this at marami po tayong hinahanap na iba pang datos to complete our analysis (We need to be very cautious in interpreting such data. Even our experts read and reviewed this and we are looking for a lot of other data to complete our analysis),” she said.
“One expert was saying, let’s say may 5,000 silang healthcare workers sa mga ospital nila but the fact of the matter would be, it was reported 300 yung nagkasakit (let’s say they have 5,000 healthcare workers in their hospitals but the fact of the matter would be, it was reported there were 300 who fell ill). So 300 out of the 5,000 would be around two to three percent and that leaves you with still 97 percent effectiveness of this vaccine,” she added.
Based on the data of the World Health Organization (WHO), vaccine efficacy results showed that the Sinovac vaccine “prevented symptomatic disease in 51 percent of those vaccinated and prevented severe COVID-19 and hospitalization in 100 percent of the studied population.”
The WHO has approved the Sinovac vaccine for emergency use last June 1 “giving countries, funders, procuring agencies and communities the assurance that it meets international standards for safety, efficacy and manufacturing.”