|The first priority was the health workers and then seniors but they cannot receive the vaccine so the economic frontliners and our soldiers may become the priorities. (Photo from Philstar)|
[Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] MANILA — President Duterte won’t be among the first to be vaccinated against COVID-19 because the China-made shots that are expected to arrive in the Philippines first aren’t recommended for senior citizens, Malacañang said yesterday.
PhilStar said that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization for Sinovac’s COVID jabs, but these won’t be administered to health care workers – the top priority in the vaccination program – because its efficacy rate stood at only 50.4 percent among members of this sector. Aside from this, the FDA added, the shots should be given to clinically healthy persons aged 18 to 59. “Because of the issuance of the FDA, which states that we cannot use it for seniors, the President won’t be among the first to get vaccines,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said at a press briefing.
Because of the FDA’s decision on Sinovac, members of the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group would have to meet and discuss the vaccine program priorities that may have to be modified, he added, noting that 100,000 of the 600,000 initial doses of the vaccines donated by China have been allocated for soldiers. Roque said the poor could also be inoculated if the supply agreement involving the procurement of one million Sinovac doses pushes through.