The first batch of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine has arrived in the country and a union of health workers at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) expressed their displeasure over the government’s choice of vaccine to be inoculated to health workers, which include those from PGH.
Led by the All UP Workers Union, doctors, nurses, and students staged a protest outside the facility on Taft Avenue in Manila on February 26, demanding the government provide them with a safe COVID-19 vaccine with high efficacy and effectiveness. The protest was done during their lunch break.
The group believes that health workers should have the option to choose the best vaccine available in order to uphold their rights, protection, and welfare. Health workers at PGH are apprehensive about the Sinovac vaccine because they believe that as the national university hospital, PGH should set an example on how vaccination will be rolled out in the country. PGH’s Physicians Association released the following statement in support of the protest:
While it is one of 12 vaccines available in the market today, Sinovac is not the most effective option out there. It has an efficiency rating of only 50.4%, which is significantly lower than other vaccines being administered elsewhere. As per Entrepreneur Magazine, the best-known vaccines so far are that of Pfizer / BioNTec and Moderna, which both have a 95% efficiency rate. Russia’s Sputnik V follows closely with a 91% efficiency rate.
The vaccine alone might not be enough to solve the ongoing pandemic, but equipping health workers with the best vaccine in the market would provide them immunization as they continuously serve in the frontlines. Given that they risk their lives on a daily basis to fight the virus, health workers do deserve the best vaccine in order to continue the fight against COVID-19.