The chief of the Philippine Vaccine Expert Panel today urged Filipinos not to choose their vaccine brands, adding that all that have been approved are effective against COVID-19.
Dr. Nina Gloriani told radio station DZBB that all vaccines that have received emergency use approval had undergone thorough evaluation by the panel.
“Let’s avoid choosing because all of these have been studied. Their efficacy is almost similar especially in the real world,” Gloriani said.
“These vaccines are all the same, and in fact, their data in real-world conditions are similar. Their efficacy is higher than clinical trials,” the doctor said.
Local governments have been told that they can no longer announce vaccine brands before the day of inoculation. The announcement was made after chaos erupted in Manila and Parañaque, where limited doses of Pfizer-BioNTech became available. Experts were worried that such instances could become super spreader events.
Most Pinoys prefer Western-made vaccines such as Pfizer, Moderna, and even Astra-Zeneca, but the Duterte government chose to procure the Chinese-made CoronaVac instead. Some Pinoys are wary of Sinovac’s jab because of its supposedly low efficacy although Indonesian health officials have reported that it has done well in the real world.
CoronaVac has been widely distributed in Southeast Asia and the rest of the Global South because it could be stored in regular freezers.