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St. Luke’s Medical Center seeks Sinovac doses for 5,000 employees—Galvez

St. Luke's Medical Center has asked for thousands of doses of the Sinovac vaccine for 5,000 employees, vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez said Monday.

During the weekly televised briefing with President Rodrigo Duterte, Galvez said that he had spoken with St. Luke's president and CEO Dr. Arturo De la Peña.

"[S]ir, nabigla po kami, ang St. Luke's humingi po ng 5,000 para sa 5,000 nilang tao, ng Sinovac," he said. It is not clear from his statement whether the hospital asked for 5,000 doses, or enough doses for 5,000 people. The Sinovac vaccine, CoronaVac, is a two-dose vaccine.

"Nag-text po sa akin si Dr. [De la] Peña at magkakaroon kami ng mini-rollout sa dalawang St. Luke's Medical Center, sa Global [City] at sa Quezon City, para magkaroon po ng mataas na uptake," Galvez said.

"We appreciate any and every cooperation offered to us at this time," Duterte responded. "Kung sasali yung St. Luke's then papasalamat tayo." 

The government is battling skepticism from health workers about the Sinovac vaccine, which was authorized last week by the Food And Drug Administration for emergency use with the caveat that it is not recommended for health workers.

The FDA reported that among health workers, who are exposed to COVID-19 patients, the efficacy of the Sinovac vaccine is only 50.4%.

Doctors at the Philippine General Hospital said that CoronaVac should undergo further appraisal before being administered to healthcare workers. — BM, GMA News