Health workers, seniors can’t get Sinovac shots

The Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization to the COVID-19 vaccine made by the Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech, but did not recommend it for frontline health workers at high risk of exposure to the coronavirus and for elderly people due to its varying levels of efficacy.

The FDA decision put economic frontline workers and military personnel at the top of the government’s priority list for inoculation with the vaccine donated by China. Soldiers will get 100,000 doses of the 600,000-dose donation.

Staff at government-run hospitals in Metro Manila and other cities were originally at the top of the priority list, but FDA chief Eric Domingo said late-stage trial data of the Sinovac vaccine, known by its trade name CoronaVac, showed it had a lower efficacy rate when used for health-care workers exposed to the coronavirus compared with healthy people aged 18 to 59.

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