Senator Win Gatchalian has volunteered to be vaccinated with jabs of CoronaVac, manufactured by Beijing-based biopharmaceutical company Sinovac, if allowed under the government’s prioritization framework for the nationwide immunization campaign to combat the coronavirus.
“Alam ko may prioritization tayo ngayon. Kung hindi naman lalabag dito, I would volunteer to be vaccinated by Sinovac. This is to show to the public our support to the vaccination program,” Gatchalian said.
The senator said he sent word to the National Policy Against COVID-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. over the weekend of his willingness to participate in the national vaccination program to help address the high vaccine hesitancy in the country.
This is also to disprove the notion that some politicians want to be vaccinated with the brand of their choice and with an efficacy rate higher than CoronaVac, Gatchalian said.
“What’s more important to me is the seal of approval of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). If it’s approved by the FDA, which went through tedious analysis prior to the grant of authorization for emergency use, I’m okay with it. I’m okay with any brand of anti-COVID-19 vaccine. I’m not brand conscious. I put my trust in the FDA,” the senator said.
The FDA earlier recommended against the use of CoronaVac on health workers as its efficacy rate stands at 50.4%, which makes it not the best vaccine to be given to medical frontliners who are exposed to COVID-19 patients. Senior citizens were not also advised by the FDA to use the said vaccine.
Prior to Monday’s immunization drive, a survey conducted from January 26 to February 1, 2021 by the Octa Research Group showed that only 19 percent of Filipinos are willing to have themselves vaccinated while 46 percent would not want to be inoculated and 35 percent are still undecided.
Gatchalian, however, expressed optimism saying that the coming days will likely show a significant increase in the number of recipients of CoronaVac.
“Maraming hesitant dahil bago itong vaccine. Kaya importante dito ang confidence building na dapat pangunahan ng mga opisyal ng gobyerno, well-known personalities, at kahit mga elected officials kagaya ng ginawa ni Indonesian President Joko Widodo at Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam,” he said.