(UPDATED) Vaccination of senior citizens aged 60 years old and above using the Sinovac vaccine will start on Monday, April 12, 2021.
In an advisory issued on Wednesday, April 7, the National Task Force Against Covid-19 said regional and local vaccination operation centers and implementing units should update their schedules to include the senior citizens.
The Department of Health (DOH) is expected to issue guidelines on the use of the Sinovac vaccine for senior citizens within the week. The vaccine, called CoronaVac, is an inactivated vaccine against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) that was originally approved for healthy persons 18 to 59 years old.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved earlier Wednesday the use of CoronaVac for senior citizens, provided there is stringent evaluation of the person’s health status and exposure risk.
Considering the limited availability of vaccines and the growing need to protect senior citizens amid the increasing number of Covid-19 cases in the country, the FDA heeded the recommendation of the Department of Science and Technology’s Vaccine Expert Panel to administer CoronaVac to senior citizens aged 60 years old and above.
However, the DOH and FDA emphasized the need for careful evaluation of the person's health status and exposure risk.
Sinovac earlier released peer-reviewed safety and immunogenicity data on the use of its vaccine in persons 60 years old and older during phase 1 and 2 clinical trials.
But current efficacy data from phase 3 trials are not yet sufficient to establish vaccine efficacy, the DOH said in a statement.
Senior citizens are already eligible for vaccination along with the healthcare workers and persons with comorbidities. (SunStar Philippines from PR)