The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that the China-made vaccine Sinovac has at least 51% efficacy rate on the elderly, noting that it should not be injected on senior citizens with acute illness and uncontrolled hypertension.

FDA Chief Eric Domingo made the announcement a day after the regulatory agency allowed the use of Sinovac on those aged 60 years old and above. Earlier, Sinovac was allowed only on clinically healthy individuals aged 18 to 59 years old.

“Based on what we saw on Phase 1 and Phase 2 and some Phase 3 (human trial) clinical trials in other countries, the efficacy rate of Sinovac on seniors is at 51% to 52%,” Domingo said.

“We also have 700 health workers aged 60 and above who got Sinovac because they signed a waiver, and the adverse events we saw were the usual,” he added. 

“We can say the benefits outweigh the risk. That is why the DOH requested us to revise our recommendation, and also because we do not have other available vaccine brands alongside the high transmission rate,” Domingo noted.

The use of Sinovac still has limitations though as Domingo stressed “This is not for those who have acute illness, uncontrolled hypertension, or hypertensive emergency.”

Sinovac’s efficacy rate based on FDA’s evaluation ranges from 65% to 91% on clinically healthy individuals.

On health workers, on the other hand, the vaccine’s efficacy rate is only at 50.4%.

“The acceptable level for the World Health Organization (WHO) is 50%,” he pointed out. 

Currently, the Philippines has 2,525,600 doses of Covid-19 vaccine supply. Two million are from Sinovac and the rest is from AstraZeneca. Ronald dela Cruz