Friday, April 9, 2021

DOH, FDA allow Chinese Covid vaccine for elderly

SENIOR CITIZENS may now be inoculated with the Chinese Covid-19 vaccine Sinovac after the Department of Health (DOH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allowed its use provided there is stringent evaluation of their health status and exposure risk.

The decision to allow the use of the Chinese vaccine was upon the recommendation of the Department of Science and Technology’s Vaccine Expert Panel, and considering the limited availability of vaccines and the growing need to protect the elderly population amid the increasing number of Covid-19 cases in the country. 

Both the DOH and FDA emphasized that the vaccination of senior citizens using should strictly be preceded by careful evaluation of the person's health status and exposure risk, adding, there is Phase I and Phase II safety and immunogenicity data for senior citizens, but data is not yet sufficient to establish the efficacy of the vaccine.

“After considering the recommendation of the experts and the current situation of high Covid-19 transmission and limited available vaccines, the FDA is allowing the use of Sinovac on senior citizens. Vaccination should be preceded by an evaluation of the person's health status and exposure risk to assure that benefits of vaccination outweigh risks,” FDA Director General Domingo said.

The DOH and FDA further stressed that while current efficacy data for senior citizens from Phase III trials is insufficient, the benefits of using the vaccine for this particular group outweigh its risks, and more scientific data on use for senior citizens may soon become available. But the DOH and FDA urged the public, especially senior citizens and persons with comorbidities to register and participate in the vaccination program as an added layer of protection. (Mindanao Examiner)

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