Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director General Eric Domingo on Wednesday said the vaccines for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) from UK-based AstraZeneca and US-based Pfizer would be suitable for senior citizens like President Rodrigo Duterte who will be prioritized in the national vaccination program.
“For now, the vaccine that has approval for senior citizens is Pfizer, that’s 16 years old and above, included in their trials are 4,000 senior citizens, older than 65,” Domingo said in Filipino during an online public briefing.
Meanwhile, AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine is indicated for individuals 18 years old and above.
“We’re careful about AstraZeneca for very elderly, those who are 80, 85 years old with comorbidities and very frail, like what was reported in Norway. But other than that, it is indicated for the elderly,” Domingo said in Filipino.
He noted the efficacy rate of Covid-19 vaccines differs depending on location, situation, and group of people they are administered to.
Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccine, he said, has a high efficacy rate for clinically healthy individuals ages 18 to 59 years old as mentioned in studies in Indonesia and Turkey but is not suitable for senior citizens and healthcare workers.
“Like the study in Brazil, healthcare workers caring for patients with Covid-19 were the subjects of the studies there and the efficacy rate is just 50.4. These data help us select which product or vaccine is appropriate for certain individuals,” he said in Filipino.