Netizens expressed their disbelief and disappointment after Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque claimed that the COVID-19 vaccine from Chinese brand Sinovac has “at least” 91.5 percent efficacy rate.
He then added that the information against the said vaccine was spread by the opposition.
“Lahat ng dini-discuss natin dito sa press briefing natin, kabahagi ng ating communication plan. Kinakalat po ng ating mga kalaban na matakot dapat sa vaccine ng Tsino. Kinakailangan western brands lang,” Roque said during an online briefing.
“Kaya pinakita po natin na ang vaccine, dumaan sa clinical trials sa iba’t ibang bansa. At least 91.5% ang efficiency rate ng Sinovac.”
A netizen pointed out that Roque should’ve backed up his claims with documents and data.
Abugado ka so dapat nakahanda yung dokumentong patunay sa 91.5% efficacy. Saka bakit nga pala ang hilig nyo sa 91%? Feng shui ba yan? pic.twitter.com/emEtguGxzg
— CCY🌹 (@KatyYam) January 11, 2021
Another then answered that the virus came from China and that the investigations of COVID-19 origin is not yet done and yet the government is already accepting vaccines from the said country.
Sa China galing ang virus eh. Di pa nga tapos imbestigasyon saan galing ang virus. Tapos pipilit mo yan SINOVAC na yan?? SINO KA BA? https://t.co/vilJsfitV2
— 🇵🇭 🏳️🌈🎗️ (@unomagnifico) January 11, 2021
Zion Ryan Cruz then labeled Roque’s statement as a part of Fascism in the country.
Yup — kalaban
Fascism is alive and well in the Philippines https://t.co/cBHzJASP7N
— Zion Ryan Cruz (@zryanverse) January 11, 2021
As Roque said that everything he says is a part of the communication plan, does it mean that him calling those who disagree with the administration as “enemies” is also a part of the said plan?
Part din ng communication plan to label those calling you out as "kalaban", I see. https://t.co/vs3KNT2Omk
— Ate Czarot (@smurfette017) January 11, 2021
A netizen also asked how is it that Sinovac has 73 side effects if its efficiency rate is at least 91.5 percent?
91% efficacy, pero may73 side effects, paki-explain, Badong https://t.co/tk3I4AvGcx
— ernie p. reyes (@estongreyes) January 11, 2021
Another clarified that Sinovac’s efficiency rate in Brazil is only at 78 percent while Pfizer and Moderna‘s is at 95%.
For the record, Sinovac efficacy is at 78% In Brazil Trials. Pfizer and Moderna efficacy is at 95% and Moderna Vaccine does not require super cold storage. https://t.co/FGg4S30tGI
— Art Valencia (@turovalencia) January 11, 2021
Someone then compared the percentage to President Rodrigo Duterte‘s approval rating.
Parang yung percentage ng approval rating lang .. Hindi alam kung saan kinuha ang datos 😅 https://t.co/cCsHgOWg9Y
— vida (@VidaPabida) January 11, 2021
A Twitter user then said that she wants the administration to try the vaccine first.
Spox, lies upon lies upon lies. Di ka na natakot sa karma? Kalaban? Taiwan ang naglabas ng 73 side effects ng vaccine. Pag naglalabas ng totoo na kontra sa kurakot plan nyo, kalaban na agad? Gusto namin kayong lahat mauna sa vaccine na yan! Lecheng ito! Kabwisit! https://t.co/whBCPiOSR1
— Brenda (@allegryofdcave) January 11, 2021
Roque then defended the government’s decision to secure 25 million doses of Sinovac even if the Chinese brand has yet to prove its safety and effectiveness. He said that it’s the only source that would give the Philippines the doses in a short period of time.
“Ang dahilan kung bakit kumukuha tayo ng Sinovac kasi sila lamang ang magbibigay ng supply sa lalong mabilis na panahon,” he said.
“Hindi naman po natin bibilhin ‘yan kung hindi sasabihin ng FDA na ito’y ligtas at ito po ay epektibo.”
As of this writing, the Pfizer vaccine is the only one that has secured the emergency use authorization in several countries including the United States, United Kingdom, and Singapore.
Indonesia is the first country outside of China that has approved the Sinovac vaccine. However, after conducting a late-stage clinical trial in the city of Bandung, the country’s food and drug agency only recorded Sinovac’s vaccine to be 65.3 percent effective.
The result was lesser than that of Brazil which has a 78 percent efficacy rate and much less of Roque’s 91.5 percent claim.