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SVA - Sinovac Biotech News Story

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UPDATE 1-Philippines approves Sinovac vaccine but not for all health workers

Mon 22nd February, 2021 5:50am
(Adds more details on regulator approval, officials' quotes)
    MANILA, Feb 22 (Reuters) - The Philippines has approved
Sinovac Biotech's  SVA.O  COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use,
but will not give it to healthcare workers at risk of exposure
due to its varying levels of efficacy, its Food and Drugs Agency
(FDA) said on Monday.
    Late-stage trial data of Sinovac's vaccine showed it had a
lower efficacy when used for healthcare workers exposed to
COVID-19 compared with healthy individuals age 18-59, said FDA
chief Rolando Enrique Domingo.
    The Philippines has about 1.4 million health workers. 
    "According to our experts, (Sinovac's) vaccine is not the
best vaccine for them," Domingo said in a briefing, referring to
health workers.  
    He cited results of clinical trials of Sinovac's CoronaVac
in Brazil, Turkey and Indonesia. 
    CoronaVac is the third candidate to get emergency approval
for use in the Southeast Asian nation of over 108 million.*:nL1N2JP09U*:nL1N2K308D
    That clears the way for the delivery of 600,000 doses of the
Sinovac vaccines that China has agreed to donate, which were due
to arrive on Tuesday but had been delayed because of the absence
of the authorisation.*:nL4N2KH0LU
    The Philippines, which has the second highest of coronavirus
infections and deaths in Southeast Asia, has yet to begin its
immunisation campaign.
    It was banking on 117,000 Pfizer-BioNTech shots secured
through the international vaccine sharing facility COVAX to kick
off its vaccine programme. 
    However, the unresolved question of who would pay for claims
for damages in the event of adverse effects from the
inoculations has delayed the delivery. 
    A bill is pending in Congress that seeks to grant indemnity
to coronavirus vaccine makers.*:nL4N2KO2EN
    "We ask for your patience because the vaccines were delayed
by a few days, but we can finally begin the vaccination,"
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a separate briefing.

 (Reporting by Karen Lema and Neil Jerome Morales
Editing by Ed Davies)
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