CoronaVac comprises the bulk of the country’s vaccine supply, it being the first one to arrive in the country on 28 February, and had formally started the Government’s vaccine rollout on 01 March.
The country has received 5.5 million CoronaVac doses, with one million of them as donations from the Chinese government.
Other vaccines in the country’s portfolio are by AstraZeneca, Gamaleya Research Institute, and Pfizer-BioNTech.
MANILA — The inclusion of Sinovac Biotech’s coronavirus vaccine CoronaVac in the World Health Organization’s emergency use listing (EUL) is an advantage for the Philippines, says the Department of Health.
The WHO’s inclusion of CoroVac in its EUL provides assurance to countries that the vaccine met international standards, says Anna Ong-Lim, an infectious disease specialist.
“We need to view the EUL as something like a quality seal, which means it (vaccine) has passed the evaluation of WHO based on their independent review of the data submitted by the manufacturer,” says Ong-Lim in a forum. She is a member of the DOH Technical Advisory Group.
DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the WHO’s green light can pave the way for more countries to use the vaccine.
According to Ong-Lim, it only means that “WHO verified that this product is made under accepted standards. The effectivity and safety that [the manufacturer] is claiming have been validated. [The vaccine’s] numbers did not just come from nowhere.”
CoronaVac became the second Chinese vaccine to receive the green light after Sinopharm. The Social Weather Stations’ survey shows it is among the top vaccines Filipinos prefer, along with the Pfizer-BioNTech jab.
The listing also makes it viable for COVAX, the global vaccine-sharing facility that provides doses to poor and middle-income countries. At present, AstraZeneca and Pfizer are distributed via COVAX. (BG/Headline PH)