Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo is welcome to join other Cabinet officials who are willing to be inoculated first with the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech, Malacañang said on Wednesday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque issued the statement in a virtual presser, as he confirmed the arrival of first batch of Sinovac vaccines in the country in a week’s time.
Roque said Robredo is qualified to receive doses of Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccine since the jabs can be administered to healthy individuals aged 18 to 59.
“Kung gusto po ni Vice President (If the Vice President wants), she’s welcome to join also,” he said. “Pasok na pasok naman po si VP Leni. Hindi pa naman po siya senior (VP Leni is qualified because she’s not a senior).”
Last month, Robredo expressed willingness to take Covid-19 shots in public to boost public’s trust and confidence in the vaccine. However, the government’s Covid-19 priority list shows that workers in frontline health services will be given priority.
The Philippine government, nevertheless, decided to administer the Sinovac vaccine to “economic front-liners” belonging to 18 to 59 age group, Roque said.
The latest decision, Roque said, was triggered by results of clinical studies which revealed that Sinovac has 91.2-percent efficacy rate among clinically healthy individuals aged 18 to 59 and 50.4-percent efficacy rate among healthcare workers exposed to Covid-19.
“Mga edad 18 to 59 na clinically healthy na economic front-liners ang kasama sa prayoridad, kasama na rin po ang mga miyembro ng ating hukbong sandatahan na binigyan po ng 100,000 doses ng gobyerno ng Tsina (Clinically healthy economic front-liners aged 18 to 59 will be given priority, including members of the armed forces who will receive 100,000 doses from the Chinese government),” Roque said.
Roque said he, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr., Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana are willing to be among the first to receive the vaccine against Covid-19.
He, however, said their plan to get inoculated still needs to be approved by the National Task Force against Covid-19 and the Department of Health.
“Halos lahat naman po kami handang mag-volunteer dahil alam nga namin na importante ‘yung palawakin pa ‘yung kumpiyansa ng ating mga kababayan (We are all ready to volunteer because we all know that it’s important to boost the public confidence),” he said.
The government was able to secure 25 million doses of Sinovac vaccine. About 100,000 doses of Sinovac vaccine will be donated to the Department of National Defense.
Around 600,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine from Sinovac were supposed to arrive in the Philippines on Feb. 23.
China, however, opted to wait for the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) issuance of the emergency use authorization (EUA) before delivering the vaccines to the country.
The EUA was granted to Sinovac by FDA on Monday. (PNA)
Photo Credit: www.pia.gov.ph