Panelo affirms Sinovac’s efficacy amid issues on efficiency rate

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MANILA – Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo defended the efficacy of China’s Sinovac vaccines in protecting individuals from the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) on Wednesday.

This comes after several Indonesian medical workers were allegedly infected with Covid-19 despite being immunized with these vaccines.

Panelo claimed that Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccines, like those produced by other pharmaceutical companies in other countries, are efficient in lowering coronavirus infections.

“Effective lahat iyan. Basta bakuna hindi ka mamamatay niyan kapag dinapuan ka at hindi ka madadala sa ospital kung ika’y talagang nabakunahan ng dalawang beses (All vaccines are effective. In case you get infected, you will not die or you will not go to the hospital, so long as you received the two vaccine shots),” Panelo stated on his commentary episode “Counterpoint.”

According to Indonesia’s medical experts, approximately 350 medical personnel got Covid-19 despite being vaccinated with CoronaVac vaccines.

Dozens of infected health professionals in Indonesia had high fever and poor oxygen saturation levels, according to reports.

Panelo justified Sinovac’s efficacy, claiming that no one in the Philippines who had the vaccines died or had adverse effects as a result of the vaccination.

Eh ang Sinovac, hindi ba dito sa atin, ang daming naturukan. May narinig ba kayo na may namatay? Wala. Wala kayong naririnig na nagkaroon ng aberya o side effects (Many of us here have received Sinovac vaccines. Have you heard any report that someone died because of the vaccine? None. There is likewise no report that they experienced side effects),” he said.

Panelo said, however, that it is expected for vaccinated individuals to contract Covid-19, as vaccinations do not provide complete protection against the coronavirus.

Eh di ba sinasabi naman sa atin, kapag nabakunahan ka, hindi ibig sabihin eh libre ka na (When you get vaccinated, that does not mean you are already coronavirus-free),” he said.

Panelo stated that even those who are completely vaccinated should exercise caution in light of the ongoing Covid-19 epidemic.

He said that everyone should continue to adhere to basic public health regulations, especially now that the new coronavirus strains are more contagious than the original variant.

Kaya nga ‘di ba kahit na nakabakuna tayo, sinasabihan tayong magsuot pa rin kayo ng face mask, face shield, maghugas ng kamay, mag-observe ng two-meter distance (That’s why we are telling everyone who already received the vaccines to continue wearing face mask and face shield, wash their hands, and observe two-meter distance),” Panelo said.

The Department of Health has informed the public despite concerns regarding the efficiency of the Sinovac vaccines, that Sinovac shots are still effective in preventing severe Covid-19 symptoms and coronavirus-related fatalities.

So far, the Philippines has received 9 million Sinovac vaccine doses.

On Thursday, another 1.5 million doses of Sinovac vaccine are expected to arrive.