The Food and Drug Administration's move not to recommend Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine to medical frontliners cast doubts on its effectiveness, House Minority Leader and Abang Lingkod Party-list Representative Joseph Stephen Paduano said on Tuesday.
Despite not recommending this vaccine to health workers, the FDA granted the emergency use authorization for the said vaccine.
Paduano said the matter is a case of self-contradiction.
"This development only indicated that the EUA issued to Sinovac was half-baked," Paduano said in a statement, adding that FDA should issue a clarification on the matter.
"It's very complicated because according to FDA director general Eric Domingo, the vaccine is 91% effective in Turkey, 65.3% in Indonesia but it registered only 50.4% efficacy among medical frontliners in Brazil," Paduano said.
Paduano claimed that the FDA "has further eroded public trust and confidence" in vaccination, saying that the agency is not helping the government in its inoculation program.
Domingo earlier bared that human trials of the Sinovac vaccine in Brazil, which had health workers as participants, showed that it is not the best vaccine choice for medical frontliners.
"Mas mabuti na po ito [na may Sinovac na bakuna] kesa wala, pero ang rekomendasyon po ng ating mga experts ay hindi ito ang pinakamagandang bakuna para sa kanila,” Domingo had said.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque had said the 600,000 doses of Sinovac donated by the Chinese government to the Philippines are due to arrive this week.
Two medical experts on Tuesday urged the public to consider getting the Sinovac vaccine amid doubts due to its lower efficacy rate.
Dr. Lulu Bravo, executive director of Philippine Foundation for Vaccination, said Filipinos should trust the experts behind the decision to grant EUA to the Sinovac jab.
Meanwhile, former government advisor Dr. Tony Leachon pointed out that the vaccine efficacy threshold set by the World Health Organization (WHO) is 50%.
The WHO however cannot comment yet on the efficacy of the Sinovac vaccine as its evaluation is still ongoing, Philippine country representative Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe said Tuesday. —KG, GMA News