An infectious disease expert on Tuesday, Sept. 21, reiterated that all coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines approved in the Philippines are effective against the severe form of the viral illness.
“Ang ating approved vaccines po–yung may EUA–lahat po sila ay mabisa laban sa severe disease. More than 90 percent effective po (Our approved vaccines–those with EUA–are all effective against severe disease),” said health expert Dr. Edsel Salvana during the Malacanang press briefing.
“Pinakita din sa Centers for Disease Control na (The Centers for Disease Control also showed that) it decreases your risk of dying and ending up in the hospital by more than 10 times,” he added.
The vaccines approved for emergency use in the Philippines were those made by Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Sinovac Biotech, Gamaleya Research Institute, Janssen Pharmaceuticals (Johnson & Johnson), Bharat Biotech, Moderna, and Sinopharm.
Salvana also said that those vaccines made by Chinese manufacturers were equally as good as other vaccines developed by Western countries. He said that Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines were approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).
“Ang Sinovac at Sinopharm ay merong WHO Emergency Use Listing. Ibig sabihin po nun, nakita na ng WHO na mabisa at ligtas ang mga vaccines na ito (Both the Sinovac and Sinopharm have a WHO Emergency Use Listing. This means that the WHO has already seen that these vaccines are effective and safe),” he said.
“I have no doubt that Sinovac, Sinopharm, Pfizer, Moderna—- all these vaccines continue to protect against severe disease,” he added.
The health expert urged the public to get vaccinated in order to protect themselves.
“Huwag po tayong mabahala. Mas importante po na ma-protektahan natin against severe disease ang ating mga kababayan kesa yung maghihintay tayo tapos tamaan na tayo ng COVID, pwede pa tayong mamatay (Let’s not worry. It is more important that we be able to protect ourselves against the severe disease. Let us not wait for COVID to hit us as it can cause death),” said Salvana.
“It is very important that we take what vaccine is offered so that we may get protection as soon as possible, otherwise we put our lives at risk and we will prolong this pandemic,” he added.
On Monday, Sept. 20, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte urged the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to purchase more vaccines made by Western countries, particularly Moderna and Pfizer. She made the statement due to “low acceptability” of China-made vaccines among their constituents.