MANILA – The latest shipment of one million doses of Sinovac coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines from China will be allotted to areas affected by a surge in infections, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said on Monday.
“Dadalhin natin ito doon sa mga may (we will be bringing these to the areas with) surge. We have a surge in Region 6, Region 8, and then we have of course Caraga, Region 10, parts of Region 11, Soccsksargen, Region 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula) but we are still waiting for the certificate of analysis,” Duque said during the arrival of the Chinese-made jabs via Cebu Pacific Flight 5J671 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 in Pasay City.
A certificate of analysis is an official document showing the results of scientific tests on a product such as a food or drug which is required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
He, however, clarified that the Sinovac vaccines will be distributed to the regional hubs while waiting for the certificate of analysis from the manufacturer.
“We will distribute it to the regional hubs para mas mabilis kasi kung aantayin mo pa rito, kakain ng oras, sayang (as this is faster (rather than waiting for the arrival of the certificate of analysis), it would take so much time),” Duque said.
He added that priority groups for the latest Sinovac doses remain the same.
“Same priority groups, we have the A1 (front-liners) A2 (senior or elderly citizens), A3 (individuals with comorbidities), A4 (economic front-liners) and of course A5, but essentially, (they) will use the COVAX-donated vaccines,” Duque said.
As of June 28, the Philippines has received a total of 17,455,470 doses of vaccines, of which Sinovac accounts for around 12 million doses.
Other vaccines in the tally include jabs from Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Sputnik V, and Moderna.
On Sunday night, around 249,600 Moderna doses also arrived in the country.
Meanwhile, National Task Force against Covid-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar, Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. said reports claiming that Sinovac has lower efficacy compared to other vaccines has no basis.
“There is no clinical data showing that Sinovac is not effective against Covid-19 variants. Its efficacy in terms of preventing death and severe cases is between 94 to 95 percent so that what we are looking at Sinovac. Some 28 countries have ordered and accepted it and its supply is the most steady for now. In fact, of all manufacturers, Sinovac is the most diligent and its deliveries are on time. In fact, its delivery is even accelerated,” he added.
The latest data from the National Task Force against Covid-19 showed that as of 6 p.m. Sunday, a total of 10,065,414 doses have already been administered. Around 7,538,128 have received their first doses while 2,527,286 have already completed the required two doses.
The total doses administered on the 17th week of the national vaccination drive reached a record high of 1,658,072 doses. (PNA)