MANILA – The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has allowed the administration of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech to front-line medical workers.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Friday the IATF-EID approved the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group’s (NITAG) and the Department of Health’s Technical Advisory Group’s recommendation for the use of Sinovac vaccines for health care workers.
Roque, in a press statement, ensured that the use of Covid-19 vaccines from Sinovac is “safe and beneficial to our health care workers.”
“The Palace welcomes the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force to use Sinovac for health care workers,” he said. “As we have said (on) many occasions, health care workers are the most critical front-liners in our fight against Covid-19 and they remain at the top of our priority list for vaccination.”
Roque expressed optimism that many health care workers would volunteer to get inoculated with Sinovac vaccines.
The willingness of medical front-liners to be vaccinated, he said, would help boost Filipinos’ confidence in receiving vaccine jabs.
“The Sinovac vaccine is expected to arrive on Sunday, February 28, and we are confident that many of our health care workers would get themselves inoculated to boost public confidence in our mass vaccination program against the coronavirus,” Roque said.
Results of clinical trials found that Sinovac has a 91.2-percent efficacy rate among clinically healthy individuals aged 18 years to 59 years and a 50.4-percent efficacy rate among health care workers exposed to Covid-19.
Roque on Wednesday said the government decided to administer the Sinovac vaccine to “economic front-liners” belonging to the 18- to 59-year age group.
He, however, said the government would not compel medical front-liners to receive vaccine shots from Sinovac.
President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to lead a simple turnover ceremony of the initial 600,000 doses of Sinovac vaccine on Sunday. (PNA)