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Expert: Sinovac vaccine could have prevented 42 health worker deaths

The coronavirus vaccine of China’s Sinovac Biotech could have prevented 42 health worker deaths and 3,300 COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila last year, the resident epidemiologist of the Department of Health (DOH) said Friday.

Citing data from Sinovac’s vaccine dossier that he obtained from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Dr. John Wong said the Chinese jab offers 59% overall efficacy.

It showed 86% efficacy among the healthy, normal risk, and non-elderly population but only around 50% efficacy among health workers.

Wong also said the Sinovac vaccine performed better among health workers younger than 60.

“If you just look at the mild cases, the efficacy is 44% but among moderate and severe cases the efficacy is higher, 72% and 100% [respectively],” he said.

“If we had this vaccine last year in NCR, we could have averted 42 health worker deaths and prevented 3,300 cases and preserved our health system,” he added.

The DOH has logged 82 health worker deaths linked to COVID-19 as of February 24.

A total of 14,798 medical professionals have contracted the virus, 14,556 of whom have recovered.

The country has also tallied 571,327 infections with 524,582 recoveries and 12,247 deaths as of Friday afternoon.

The DOH said immunization experts have agreed to recommend the use of the Sinovac vaccine on health workers despite its low efficacy in the said group.

Health workers will not lose their priority status in the vaccination program if they decide not to get the Sinovac jab. — DVM, GMA News