MANILA – Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo on Tuesday said he has not experienced any adverse side effects after receiving a coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine shot developed by Chinese state-owned pharmaceutical giant Sinopharm.
A photo from Panelo showed him getting inoculated with Sinopharm vaccine, the same brand administered to President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday.
“No side effects after the jab, and I’m feeling normal,” Panelo said in a statement sent to Palace reporters.
China approved in December last year the use of Sinopharm vaccine after its developer said the vaccine showed 79.34 percent efficacy based on an interim analysis of late-stage clinical trials.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in February this year granted the Presidential Security Group a “compassionate” license for the use of 10,000 Sinopharm vaccines.
In a virtual presser, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte had received the Sinopharm vaccine upon the advice of his doctors.
Roque said Duterte has decided to take a vaccine shot manufactured by Sinopharm because the FDA’s process of granting the Chinese developer an emergency use authorization has been “grossly delayed.”
In Panelo’s case, he got inoculated since he is a senior citizen who falls under “A2” category, Roque said.
“Secretary Panelo is a senior citizen so kasama siya sa A2 priority group (he belongs to A2 priority group). He is not there as a secretary. He’s there perhaps a senior citizen),” he said.
Don’t be afraid
After receiving the Sinopharm vaccine, Panelo allayed public apprehension about getting inoculated against Covid-19.
“Those who still have lingering doubts or fears on the efficacy of any vaccine should put them to rest,” Panelo said. “The vaccine will reduce the severity of the virus if by chance we are infected by it. It will save us from certain death and spare us from being brought to the hospital.”
For people who have already been vaccinated, Panelo reminded them to continue following the minimum public health standards.
He said it is still better to “have an abundance of caution than a slew of recklessness or complacency.”
“While waiting for the preferred vaccine, let us observe the minimum health protocols. Even if we have been inoculated, let us still observe them,” he said. (PNA)