50% efficacy of Sinovac vaccine acceptable, but review of official data still needed – DOST-PCHRD

Department of Science and Technology (DOST) -Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) executive director Jaime Montoya explained during the December 24 #LagingHandaPH Public Briefing that amid the reported 50-percent efficacy of Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still needs to review official data that Sinovac will submit before conclusions can be made.

“The 50-percent efficacy is acceptable because that is the minimum requirement set by the World Health Organization for a vaccine to be used by a country,” Montoya said.

“We have to also bear in mind that the vaccine efficacy may actually change, it may go up or it may go down, as more and more people are using it when they are actually rolled out,” the DOST-PCHRD executive director said.

He explained that “the vaccine efficacy that is higher would be the proffered vaccine. However, we have to bear in mind that we have to look at the data.”

“We are talking here of the overall vaccine efficacy, if it is true, it’s 50 percent, but if we actually break them down into groups, maybe it is more effective in a particular group of people – maybe healthcare workers, maybe in the elderly, maybe those with co-existing morbidity so we have to look at them,” Montoya said.

“So we have to also look at where they are actually going to be most useful, in what group, before we can actually make a decision,” he added.

He also explained that official data on the Sinovac vaccine still needs to be reviewed by the FDA.

“It has to be reviewed by the FDA. Kahit lumalabas sa press ganito ang kanilang efficacy, we have to verify those data. Until such time na na-review natin ang data, we cannot make any conclusion,” he noted.