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No pre-briefing on Sinovac vaccine data –health worker alliance

The Healthcare Professionals Alliance Against COVID-19 (HPAAC) said on Friday that they were not briefed on the information on the Sinovac vaccine, which was expected to arrive on Sunday, as they urged for government transparency on the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) recommendation for the vaccine.

"Ang HPAAC po we are not pre-briefed to the information or to the data shared by the manufacturer on SINOVAC with FDA," said HPAAC committee member Dr. Aileen Espina in a Balitanghali interview.

"Kung kaya ang panawagan sana namin is for this data to be made available to the public in the spirit of transparency para maintindihan natin kung ano ang basis ng FDA sa pagbibigay ng recommendation," she said.

The HPAAC previously recommended that Sinovac vaccines undergo a health technology assessment process.

"Tatanggapin namin ang kahit na anong bakuna basta dumaan lang po ito sa tamang proseso, ibig sabihin meron siyang EUA issued by FDA, na-technical review po siya ng HPAAC, at na-allocate ng NITAG," Espina said.

The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday said the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG) had agreed to recommend Sinovac for health workers.

Espina urged Filipinos not to compete with each other in acquiring inoculation, ahead of the expected arrival of Sinovac vaccines on Sunday.

"Alam niyo naman po ang mga Pinoy, mahilig makipagkompitensya... Hindi po ito race o paunahan. Ang importante po sa vaccination program is to make best use ng vaccines," she said.

Espina said the Philippines is in a "relatively good position" ahead of its vaccination program, as compared with other countries that immediately needed their innoculation rollout due to their high COVID-19 death rates.

"Hindi naman po talaga natin kailangang magmadali, but rather we should be prudent sa paggamit ng mga bakuna," she said. — Jamil Santos/DVM, GMA News