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IATF, FDA recommend the use of Sinovac for senior; netizens now call on Pres. Rodrigo Duterte to get the vaccine shot

No less than Palace spokesperson Harry Roque dropped the “good news” that CoronaVac got its recommendation for senior citizens’ use.

A “welcome” bit of news just landed on social media yesterday as the largest supplier of COVID-19 vaccines to the Philippines just got approved for senior citizens.

It’s a “welcome” development—because people are still apprehensive—but Netizens can now really see how much President Rodrigo Duterte trusts Sinovac Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine.

No less than Palace spokesperson Harry Roque dropped the “good news” that CoronaVac got its recommendation for senior citizens’ use.

The recommendation comes from the National Task Force for COVID-19’s (NTF) Vaccine Expert Panel, composed of some of the country’s leading authorities in immunology and epidemiology.

It was confirmed by the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG) consultant Dr. Rontgene Solante during an interview with ANC.

“If there are no other vaccines at this point in time, we have to find a logical solution. Getting vaccinated with Sinovac is an option,” Solante said.

He added that experts are not sure of the possible side effects to the elderly, but they can “more or less protect these individuals.”

Once this made it to social media feeds of Filipinos, one person immediately popped into their heads: President Rodrigo Duterte.

Netizens are now calling on the President to allay all worries of adverse side effects and be inoculated with CoronaVac in public.

Some Netizens have even called on not just Duterte, but other elderly members of his cabinet as well.

Philippine Star desk editor Jonathan de Santos, however, sees it differently.

Doubts stem from politicians and select celebrities “recommending” ivermectin, and some Filipinos now relying more on symptom relief than outright immunity.

As of writing, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has concurred with the NTF panel. They have since forwarded their approval to the Department of Health (DOH).

Both agencies, however, have come out with a statement about using CoronaVac to immunize the elderly.

“The DOH and FDA emphasized that the vaccination of senior citizens using CoronaVac should strictly be preceded by careful evaluation of the person’s health status and exposure risk,” the statement reads.

They also pointed out how the data from Phase 1 and 2 trials are not enough to establish how effective the vaccine is.

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