April 7, Wednesday, the Philippine health authorities allowed the use of Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine for some senior citizens after initially limiting coverage to people aged 18-59 years.
This came after the country’s vaccine experts panel’s recommendation to use the vaccine on the elderly.
According to FDA Director-General Eric Domingo, “After considering the recommendation of the experts and the current situation of high COVID-19 transmission and limited available vaccines, the FDA is allowing the use of Sinovac on senior citizens.”
The agencies also considered vaccine shortage and the “growing need to protect seniors amid the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the country.”
“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,” read the statement. “There are a Phase I/II safety and immunogenicity data for seniors but efficacy data is not yet sufficient to establish vaccine efficacy.”