Sinovac vaccine adverse events among senior citizens "within limits," says FDA
China's Sinovac vaccine's adverse effects to 60 years old and above individuals were "within usual limits," the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said on Thursday.
In the "Laging Handa" public briefing, FDA Director General Eric Domingo said that over 700 healthcare workers aged 60 and above have received the CoronaVac vaccine of Sinovac despite an earlier warning by FDA that the Chinese brand was not advisable for senior citizens due to low efficacy rate.
He said those senior healthcare workers signed a waiver for getting the vaccine.
"When we checked the data, their adverse events were within the usual limits," Domingo said.
Following the recommendation of the Vaccine Expert Panel, the FDA approved on Wednesday the use of Sinovac vaccine to senior citizens amid the lack of supply of other brands and surge of coronavirus disease cases.
So far, the only available vaccine in the country is CoronaVac.
While the FDA could not say exactly the efficacy rate of the Sinovac vaccine, Domingo said based on early reports, it was at least 51 to 52 percent, which is within the level acceptable to the World Health Organization.
"So, in this case, we can say, we don't have the number yet, but the benefit outweighs the risk because many senior citizens can die of COVID-19 but no one dies with the vaccine and they are even protected," he said. Celerina Monte/DMS