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THE government stood in defense of China-made CoronaVac vaccines from Sinovac and its effectivity against COVID-19.

This came amid reports of doctors’ deaths in Indonesia, who were vaccinated with Sinovac. The government said despite the incident, it will not compel the Philippine government to slow down in inoculating 58 million Filipinos to achieve herd immunity by the end of the year.

Hindi po makakaapekto kasi, unang-una, ang Sinovac po ay aprubado hindi lang ng Philippine FDA (Food and Drug Administration), aprubado rin po iyan ng WHO,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a briefing Monday night.

Citing results of scientific studies, assessment and validation, Roque also urged the public to take the authorities’ word — all vaccine brands being administered in the country are safe and effective in preventing severe cases of COVID-19.

Roque’s statement was an offshoot of reports over the death of 26 Indonesian doctors who took jabs using China-made Sinovac vaccines branded as CoronaVac.

In a related development, Senate Minority Floor Leader Franklin Drilon said in a statement that the government should consider buying more effective and cheaper vaccines like Pfizer’s instead of CoronaVac.

However, Roque said prioritizing one brand goes against the opinion of experts, adding that the position of the country’s health experts as to the safety and efficacy of CoronaVac has not changed.

Government data showed that the country has so far received 12 million doses of CoronaVac. Other vaccine brands are coming in trickles — AstraZeneca, Gamaleya, Pfizer and Moderna.

To date, the government has so far administered over 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines since the start of the vaccine rollout on March 1.

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