China’s Sinovac Covid19 vaccine, which Philippine government officials have for months been furiously lobbying for distribution to the public, has been granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).
But the hitch is that, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it is not for general use.
The FDA, reports said, could not recommend that the drug (manufactured by the Chinese pharma firm Sinovac Biotech) be administered to frontline health workers and senior citizens because of its low efficacy rate.
The BBC had reported that clinical trials done by Brazil’s Butantan Institute revealed that Sinovac had an efficacy rate of only 50.4 percent, which is barely above the minimum 50 percent set by the World Health Organization (WHO) for regulatory approval.
FDA chief Eric Domingo said that due to its low efficacy rate, the Sinovac vaccine (which goes by the trade name CoronaVac) should not be used by frontliners who are exposed frequently to the virus and senior citizens who are in the vulnerable sector with co-morbidities.
Sources claimed this is actually the main reason why virtually all local government units in Metro Manila have dropped the Sinovac vaccine (that Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque is wont to ram down the throats of the uninitiated) in favor of such Western brands like Pfizer (95%), Moderna (94%) and AstraZeneca (70%) that that are highly rated.
Photo: The Business Times