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Why PGH pulmonologist decided to get Sinovac shot despite Pfizer expectation

A pulmonary critical care specialist from the Philippine General Hospital said he was initially disheartened when he learned health care frontliners would be getting Sinovac anti-COVID-19 shots.

According to Sandra Aguinaldo’s report on “24 Oras,” Dr. Jubert Benedicto decided to take advantage of the available Chinese vaccine after a quick research showed it prevented severe to critical symptoms of the disease.

PGH staff had initially prepared for a rollout of Pfizer BioNTech vaccines.

“Noong nalaman kong Sinovac, sabihin ko na lumubog din ‘yong puso ko siguro katulad ng ibang mga healthcare worker so I made it a point to take a second look doon sa Sinovac,” Benedicto said.

“Ang COVID, nakamamatay kung severe or critical. Itong bakuna na ‘to nagsasabing 100% niya pini-prevent ang severe to critical.  So with that in mind, I took my chance,” he added.

Benedicto, who is assigned at the intensive care unit of PGH, said he took the Sinovac as he already needed the protection to further serve his patients.

“Ang nasa isip ko lang naman is ma-provide-an lang ako ng added protection, mas nakakapanglakas ng loob in terms sa tuloy-tuloy ko pang magagawa ‘yong trabaho ko nang hindi ako masyado nag-iisip,” Benedicto said.

In early February, China’s Sinovac Biotech said late-stage trial data of its COVID-19 vaccine from Brazil and Turkey showed it prevented hospitalization and death in COVID-19 patients, but had a much lower efficacy rate in blocking infections.

The 12,396-person trial found the CoronaVac vaccine was 100% effective in preventing COVID-19 sufferers from being hospitalized or dying and 83.7% effective in avoiding cases that required any medical treatment, but only 50.65% effective at keeping people from getting infected, according to a statement.

Earlier, PGH doctors said Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine should undergo further appraisal before being administered to healthcare workers. -NB, GMA News