Health workers can still get the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine if they choose to, according to FDA chief Eric Domingo.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director-General Eric Domingo on Tuesday said that health workers can still get the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine if they choose to.
On Tuesday, Domingo clarified that health workers can still choose to get inoculated with Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine since the Food and Drug Administration merely made a recommendation on which groups it wasn’t suited for.
Domingo made the statement after the Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use authorization (EUA) of China’s Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine was met with confusion because the agency didn’t recommend it for use on health workers because of its lower efficacy rate of 50.4% in the said group.
In an interview on ANC, Domingo explained that the Food and Drug Administration’s recommendation was based on the data submitted by China’s Sinovac from its clinical trials, which consisted of two smaller studies within communities and one big study involving health workers treating COVID-19 patients.
“Since that is the science and that is the evidence that we have, we can only give an authorization for use in those [groups] that we know will benefit and in this case, it’s 18 to 59 [year-olds]. Not everybody is the same… There’s not one vaccine that will fit each and every person. What we try to do is we try to guide the decision-makers when they do roll out a program” Domingo said.
Lawmakers — including House Minority Leader Joseph Stephen Paduano and Senator Kiko Pangilinan — questioned why China’s Sinovac vaccine was given regulatory approval when it wasn’t recommended for health workers.
Paduano accused the Food and Drug Administration of further “eroding” public trust and confidence in the Philippine government’s COVID-19 vaccination program.
Meanwhile, Senator Risa Hontiveros encouraged the government to fast-track the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines that can be used on health workers, the top priority in the Philippine government’s COVID-19 vaccination program.