DOH already has recommendation on use of CoronaVac on elderly – expert panel member


MANILA, Philippines — The Vaccine Expert Panel has already forwarded to the Department of Health (DOH) its recommendation on the use of CoronaVac, the COVID-19 vaccine made by Sinovac BioTech, for those who are 60 years old and above as doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine have run out.

This was announced at an online media forum on Tuesday by Dr. Rontgene Solante, a panel member who is also the chief of the Adult Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine unit of San Lazaro Hospital.

“We in the Vaccine Expert Panel already made our recommendation. We just finished the recommendation the other day,” Solante said.

He did not disclose, however, details of the recommendation, saying it would be more ideal to wait for the DOH evaluation and decision.

“We are looking at the data again. Since we need a vaccine — at this point in time, we need a vaccine for those 60 years old and above. Only Sinovac is available,” he said, speaking partly in Filipino, noting that only a small amount of the AstraZeneca vaccine remained.

“The question now is: Can we change the policy so that we can give the vaccine to those 60 years old and above?” he added.

He pointed out that several countries — namely, China, Indonesia, and Turkey — had allowed the use of CoronaVac on the elderly.

“That’s one basis that we’re looking at now — that many countries are already using it. There’s a big chance that we can also give the recommendation for the 60 years old and above,” Solante said.

When an emergency use authorization was issued to CoronaVac, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended not using it on senior citizens due to a lack of studies on that aspect.

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