Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Monday appealed to health workers to get vaccinated using CoronaVac, China’s Sinovac vaccine, despite doubts and doubts about its quality.
The first shipment of such vaccine donated by China arrived on Sunday, and this Monday it was immediately injected into health workers and some government officials.
Duque explained that although the Sinovac vaccine is only 50 percent effective against mild infection, it is 100 percent effective against severe or severe COVID-19 infection.
It is the same as other vaccines such as those made by Pfizer-BioNtech, Moderna and AstraZeneca.
“Hinihikayat ko po ang ating health care workers na hangga’t sa maaari po ay magpabakuna po tayo gamit ang Sinovac. Dapat lang na maniwala tayo na itong bakunang ito ay tunay na epektibo at makatutulong sa pag-iwas sa malubha o matinding COVID-19 infection,” the DOH secretary said.
What is important, he said, is to reduce the severe cases that often lead to hospitalization or death.
“Kung walang matinding COVID, walang severe COVID, walang hospitalization at walang mamamatay,” said Duque.
Echoing Duque, Dra. Lulu Bravo, executive director of the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination, said: “What’s important is that you have high efficacy for moderate to severe COVID-19.”
Despite this, some health workers insisted that they don’t want to get vaccinated with a Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine.
Alliance of Health Workers national president Robert Mendoza told TeleRadyo that they should be given the vaccine with a higher efficacy rate because they are most exposed to COVID-19.
“Kami sa health workers ay hindi po kami masaya dahil itong Sinovac na ito ay hindi ito preferred ng mga health workers. Kung meron mang mas mataas na efficacy, dun tayo sa mas mataas. Kami ang sumusuong sa mga pasyente natin. Dapat ‘wag naman ito na ang sinusubo sa health workers na napakababa ng efficacy nito,” said Mendoza.
According to the latest government report, 14,819 healthcare workers in the country have been hit by COVID-19, although there are only 171 active cases.
Ten of the current patients are in “severe condition”, 8 are in “critical condition”, 2 are in “moderate condition”, 94 are in “mild cases”, and 57 are asymptomatic.