The World Health Organization (WHO), in a resounding putdown of the Chinese-made coronavirus vaccine, said it has a “low level of confidence” in Sinopharm for seniors, published reports said.
In a recent assessment (April 29), the WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) gave a failing grade to Sinopharm’s “BBIP CorV” vaccine when it is administered to people aged 60 years and above.
The SAGE categorically expressed doubts that BBIP-CorV could prevent the disease in persons belonging to the vulnerable age group numbering around 7.5 million throughout the country according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.
But SAGE said it is “very confident” the state-owned Sinopharm’s jab could effectively prevent Covid19 for those aged 18 to 59 years old.
Government health experts in Pakistan (a nation of 212 million) also held the same opinion as SAGE, that BBIP-CorV is “not effective” for people above 60, due to lack of sufficient data from the manufacturer.
Dr. Faisal Sultan, special assistant to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, said this is the reason the Health ministry has not yet authorized the Sinopharm vaccine for their senior citizens.
(After getting hold of pertinent data from China, Argentina, Egypt, Nepal, Peru and the United Arab Emirates, Pakistani authorities reportedly agreed to recommend Sinopharm for the elderly, according to Dr. Nausheen Hamid, parliamentary secretary of National Health Services.)
Sinopharm’s vaccine gained some notoriety last year after members of Malacanang’s Presidential Security Group reportedly admitted receiving it despite the lack of the required Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration.
Adding fuel to the fire, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the Sinopharm doses injected into the arms of PSG men were “smuggled.”
Last week, President Duterte was immunized with the Sinopharm drug with Health Secretary Francisco Duque personally jabbing him.