Concerned officials from the Department of Health and the National Covid19 Task Force (IATF) are struggling to cushion the unwelcome news from the United Kingdom that the Chinese-made Sinovac brand has not been included in the list of Covid19 vaccines found to be effective against the deadlier India variant.
Sinovac vaccine (trade name: CoronaVac) is the vaccine of choice of the Philippine government, over Western brands.
Many Filipinos have expressed their overwhelming preference for Pfizer, Moderna etc. due to the extremely high efficacy rating of 95 percent, in contrast to Sinovac’s mediocre 51 percent as found by Brazil’s Butantan Institute.
But despite this, government officials still insist on promoting Sinovac supposedly fearful of a backlash from Beijing.
Ironically, Davao City, which is the hometown of President Duterte, reportedly opted to purchase Pfizer in disregard of the “don’t be choosy” message of the Health department.
A study by Public Health England (PHE), according to reports, found two doses of the Pfizer vaccine and two doses of AstraZeneca to be 88 percent and 66 percent effective, respectively, against the India variant.
PHE scientists said that the first dose of either Pfizer or AstraZeneca is 33 percent effective.
Due to this discovery, British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the government would be able to lift more Covid restrictions by June 21, thus enabling citizens to have a “better summer.”
“I am increasingly confident we’re on the right track as the vaccines, after two doses, work effectively against the India variant,” he said.
Hancock said getting two doses in arms is absolutely vital in getting Britain back to normalcy soonest.
In this regard, Prime Minister Boris Johnson was reported to have ordered to accelerate the remaining second jabs of over-50s and vulnerable persons.