US donation seen to boost vax confidence

June 20, 2021 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 385 views

THE forthcoming United States (US) donation of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) shots to the Philippines will boost vaccine confidence among Filipinos, a House leader said Sunday.

“I think the government would be able to convince many of those who are hesitant to get vaccinated to take the donated jabs,” Quezon City Rep. Precious Hipolito Castelo said.

Castelo said a recent survey showed that Filipinos preferred COVID-19 vaccines made by US and other western manufacturers.

Based on reports, she said the US is donating 80 million doses of AstraZeneca and 500 million doses of Pfizer vaccines to poor and developing countries through the vaccine sharing facility of the World Health Organization.

She urged Filipinos “to take the vaccine that is available because that is our best protection against COVID-19.”

At the same time, Castelo called for continued vigilance and compliance with basic health protocols “whatever vaccine we have taken.”

“The latest data from Indonesia shows that even those fully vaccinated can get the virus and be hospitalized. So let us continue to be vigilant, to continue wearing face mask and face shield, to always be on guard against getting infected, or if we are infected, against infecting others,” she said.

More than 300 Indonesian health workers got the virus despite taking two doses of the Chinese-made Sinovac vaccine.

In the wake of the latest data, the Department of Health (DOH) has assured Filipinos that Sinovac remains effective against death and hospitalization from COVID-19.

Castelo said previous reports from Indonesia showed Sinovac vaccination prevented deaths among 120,000 of that country’s health workers by 98 percent and hospitalization by 96 percent.

The same efficacy rates were reported in a study in Thailand, she said.

In the small town of Serrana in Brazil, she said COVID-19 deaths reportedly dropped by 95 percent after 75 percent of its population of 45,000 received the two-dose Sinovac, she said.