Bangkok (People’s Daily) – “More than 50% of COVID 19 vaccinations in the Philippines were with Sinovac and they have been of great help in our fight against COVID0-19.” In an written interview with People’ Daily, Rolando Enrique D. Domingo, Director General of The Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA), showed his praise to Sinovac and appreciation to China.
The National Vaccination Program in the Philippines, starting March, was launched by Sinovac donated by the Chinese government. “Sinovac is the first vaccine against COVID-19 to be used in the Philippines. It jump-started the vaccination program of our country at a time when no other vaccine was delivered to us,” Domingo said.
On February 22 this year, the Philippine FDA formally approved the emergency use of Sinovac, making Sinovac the third vaccine to be used in the Philippines after Pfizer and AstraZeneca. Six days later, a batch of Sinovac vaccine donated by China arrived in Manila, and the National Vaccination Program started less than 24 hours later.
Domingo said the Philippines has received more than 57 million doses of vaccine, through procurement and donations, from China. Last Wednesday, the Philippines launched the second round of its National Vaccination Program, mainly for booster vaccinations.
“Many Filipinos are willing to be vaccinated by Sinovac and the majority of Filipinos, so far, have been vaccinated with it. In part this is because it is a tried and tested technology (inactivated virus) and the side effects are mild.” Domingo added that Chinese vaccine like Sinovac and Sinopharm have acceptable efficacy levels above the standards set by the WHO. Although the western vaccines have higher efficacy, the Chinese vaccines have their own advantages.
The director said he looks forward to in-depth vaccine cooperation with China. “The Philippines is developing a vaccine sustainability plan for the future. Maybe China can support the development of vaccine manufacturing in the Philippines to achieve the sustainability of vaccine supply.”