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Use of Sinovac on seniors gets approval from FDA
“After considering the recommendation of the experts and the current situation of high COVID-19 transmission and limited available vaccine, the FDA is allowing the use of Sinovac on senior citizens,” FDA director general Eric Domingo said.
AFP/CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN

Use of Sinovac on seniors gets approval from FDA

Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - April 8, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday approved the use of Sinovac vaccines for senior citizens, upon recommendation of the Vaccine Expert Panel (VEP).

“After considering the recommendation of the experts and the current situation of high COVID-19 transmission and limited available vaccine, the FDA is allowing the use of Sinovac on senior citizens,” FDA director general Eric Domingo said.

He noted that vaccination “should be preceded by an evaluation of the person’s health status and exposure risk to assure that benefits of vaccination outweigh the risk.”

At a public briefing, the VEP said they studied the “safety profile” of Sinovac when used on those aged 60 and above.

“Its safety profile is good, the signs and symptoms are mild to moderate based on the studies done in Brazil, although the senior citizens that participated in the trial were few, around 400,” VEP head Nina Gloriani claimed.

Adverse events after immunization include pain on the injection site and headache lasting for two days, she added.

Of the 2.52 million vaccine doses delivered to the country, two million doses were from Sinovac. The rest, or 525,600 doses, were jabs developed by British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca acquired through the World Health Organization-led COVAX Facility.

Temporary halt

In Mandaluyong City, vaccination of elderly citizens was temporarily paused yesterday after the local government ran out of AstraZeneca vaccine doses.

“The scheduled vaccination of senior citizens was temporarily stopped because the initial supply of AstraZeneca that the Department of Health allotted for the city had run out,” the city government said in a statement.

The city health office earlier said that there were around 27,000 senior citizens in Mandaluyong, 5,000 of whom have registered for the vaccination program.

Call for aid

Sen. Francis Pangilinan described hospitals in NCR Plus areas as “war zones” as he appealed for aid from the international community at the worldwide Liberal Party presidents’ meeting.

“Our hospitals are practically war zones. Ambulances of sick people are lining up outside hospitals. People are dying in hospital parking lots. Our medical frontliners are getting sick. We need help,” Pangilinan said.

“We are asking our allies to help us secure supplies for tent hospitals, equipment and COVID-19 vaccines. We need at least 140 million doses to achieve herd immunity,” Pangilinan added. – Alexis Romero, Pia Lee-Brago, Neil Jayson Servallos, Cecille Suerte Felipe

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