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Bong Go: ensure safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines

February 23, 2021 - Tuesday 6:02 PM by MDM

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While emphasizing that government authorities are doing their best to secure sufficient supply of vaccines for the country, Senator Christopher "Bong" Go also stressed the need for experts to ensure the safety and efficacy of these vaccines to allay fears and help improve public confidence on the National COVID-19 Vaccine Roadmap. 

Furthermore, Go also urged experts, such as those in the Food and Drug Administration, to provide clear explanations to the public on the steps and precautions being taken to ensure that lives will be protected when the vaccine program is rolled-out. 

“Ipaliwanag po dapat ang mga plano at desisyon ng maayos para tumaas lalo ang tiwala ng taumbayan at hindi matakot sa bakuna. Huwag natin pabayaan ang mga kababayan nating hindi alam saan kukuha ng bakuna o hindi pa nga alam kung ano at para saan ang bakunang ito,” Go reminded authorities. 

He also appealed to the public to trust the health experts and rely on credible sources of information in order to be aware and fully understand why vaccination is crucial in overcoming the pandemic towards full recovery. 

“Magtiwala tayo sa ating gobyerno dahil ginagawa po ang lahat upang maprotektahan ang buhay ng bawat Pilipino,” Go assured. 

Meanwhile, Go is asking for an explanation from the Food and Drug Administration on its decision not to recommend the use of China's Sinovac vaccine against COVID-19 on medical frontliners. 

In an ambush interview right after he distributed assistance to market and ambulant vendors in Brgy. Baclaran, Parañaque City , Go said that FDA Director General Eric Domingo should explain to the public why they have to set such conditions and why they choose the type of vaccines that will be used by the health workers.

"I will ask FDA Dir. Gen. Eric Domingo bakit may ganung kondisyones. Dapat linawin ito sa publiko para 'di magkaroon ng confusion o takot sa tao, bakit pinipili po ang pagbibigay ng bakuna," Go said. 

Go's statement came after Domingo disclosed that they have already approved the emergency use of Sinovac vaccines in the Philippines but would not recommend the use of this brand to medical frontliners due to its lower efficacy rate of 50.4 percent based on clinical trials worldwide. 

Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. earlier said that a total of 600,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines will be donated to the Philippines by the Chinese government. The Philippines also plans to buy more doses from Sinovac on top of what will be donated. 

Meanwhile, while awaiting the vaccine rollout, he reminded the public to remain vigilant, cooperate with authorities, and trust that the government is doing everything it can to overcome the ongoing crisis. 

“Konting tiis nalang po. Kaysa magmadali tayo na ibalik ang dati, mas paigtingin nalang muna natin ang ating pag-iingat at patuloy tayong mag-adapt sa ‘new normal’ habang hindi pa tayo nababakunahan,” Go said in a statement earlier. 

“Ginagawa na naman po natin ang lahat para masigurong may sapat, ligtas at epektibong bakuna tayo laban sa COVID-19 para sa mga Pilipino. Ilang araw nalang naman ang iintayin natin, huwag na nating isugal muna ang buhay ng ating kapwa hangga’t sigurado tayong ligtas na — at ang bakuna ang makakapagsiguro nito,” he added. 

Go, meanwhile, appealed for understanding from the public for the difficulties encountered in securing the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines. He emphasized that the government is doing its best to fast track the procurement of the vaccines. 

"Ginagawa naman po lahat ng gobyerno, ni Sec. Galvez. Problema po dito ay supply po ng bakuna sa buong mundo,” he explained.