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FDA okays Sinovac vaccine for seniors

AFP photo

By ANALOU DE VERA

AFP photo

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves the use the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine made by China’s Sinovac Biotech on senior citizens. 

“After considering the recommendation of the experts and the current situation of high COVID-19 transmission and limited available vaccines, the FDA is allowing the use of Sinovac on senior citizens,” said FDA Director-General Rolando Enrique Domingo in a text message.  

Domingo, however, stressed that an evaluation on the health condition of the vaccine recipient should first be conducted.

“Vaccination should be preceded by an evaluation of the person’s health status and exposure risk to assure that benefits of vaccination outweigh risks,” he added. 

During the Laging Handa press briefing on Wednesday, the country’s vaccine experts panel (VEP) has recommended the use of the China-made vaccine to 60 years old and above. 

“Mayroon na kaming ganoong rekomendasyon,” said Dr. Nina Gloriani of the Department of Science and Technology’s VEP. 

In his presentation during the Cabinet meeting last March 24, Domingo said that 11 countries approved the use of the Sinovac vaccine on the elderly population. 

These include Mexico, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Brazil, Uruguay, Colombia, Laos, Ecuador, and Malaysia. 

“Totoo na sa ibang bansa ginamit muna nila sa 18 to 59 tapos nag-expand sila sa mga elderly — sa 11 countries,” Domingo said last March 24. 

COVID-19 vaccines developed by American drug manufacturer Pfizer, British firm AstraZeneca, and Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute can be administered to senior citizens.

These vaccine manufacturers have already secured an emergency use authorization with the FDA for their respective COVID-19 vaccines.

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