DOH recommends no announcement of COVID-19 vaccine brand

MANILA, Philippines – To prevent overcrowding in vaccination sites, the Department of Health (DOH) has urged local government units (LGU) to refrain from announcing to the public the brand of vaccine that will be offered in specific vaccination sites.

DOH recommends no announcement of COVID-19 vaccine brand
Crowd at Pfizer vaccination site in Parañaque City on May 17. Photo credit: Facebook/Noel Litan

Early this week, hundreds queued in vaccination sites in Manila and Parañaque for a chance to be inoculated with Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

The Covid 19 super spreader scene was taken on May 17 at Ayala Mall in Macapagal Ave on the day that Parañaque rolled...

Posted by Noel Litan on Tuesday, May 18, 2021

In her interview with CNN Philippines, DOH Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said that they will enforce a “brand agnostic” policy.

"Dapat sasabihin lang you go [to the vaccination site] and whatever vaccine that will be available, you get it. So hindi na i-a-announce na we are now going to give Pfizer, we are now going to give Sinovac, we are now going to give AstraZeneca," Cabotaje explained.

According to Cabotaje, they gave members of the A1 priority group or the healthcare workers right to refusal during the initial stages of the vaccination program when China’s Sinovac BioTech vaccines were not recommended for healthcare workers.

“Binigyan natin ng right of first refusal ang ating mga health workers because of the fact that at the beginning ‘yung Sinovac was not advisable, not recommended for health workers,” she explained.

Cabotaje stressed that other than the members of the A1 priority group, people are not given the right to refusal.

“Other than that dapat wala nang right of refusal. Kung ano ‘yung vaccine kunin mo, kapag hindi mo kukunin, then you go down the end of the line,” she stressed.

Previously, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not recommended the use of Sinovac's CoronaVac for medical workers exposed to COVID-19 patients because of its low efficacy rate of 50.4% found on a clinical trial in Brazil.

However, the Inter-Agency Task Force eventually recommended the use of Sinovac’s vaccine on healthcare workers.

— Mini, The Summit Express

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