Frontliners Reject Sinovac: 'We Deserve the Best'
Photographer Jerome Ascano was on the scene to capture the frustrations of Filipino frontliners with the government.
Medical frontliners thronged the Philippine General Hospital Friday to protest a COVID-19 vaccine rollout using one made by China's Sinovac, saying they were promised a different jab.
Members of the All UP Workers Union-Manila and PGH health workers said they "deserve the best COVID-19 vaccine." The group said they were supposed to get the vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech, which is more effective according to laboratory and real-world tests.
The Food and Drug Administration cleared Sinovac's CoronaVac for emergency use, except for frontliners, citing its efficacy rate of 50.4%. Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the FDA's statement amounted to a recommendation instead of a prohibition.
“The important thing to remember here is whatever vaccine comes, we should welcome it because it will definitely make a difference in helping control the spread of this infection, and the first area where we should control it will be in the hospitals,” UP-PGH Director Gab Legaspi said as he accompanied Roque in delivering news of the rollout.
As the biggest COVID-19 referral hospital in the country, PGH has been conducting simulations for the arrival of the Pfizer vaccine since early February.
"Ang aming preregistration, nagpakitang 94% ay may consent for vaccination. Pero dapat maging tapat ako: nung kinuha namin ang consent nila, Pfizer vaccine ang aming pinaghahandaan," said Legaspi.
This story originally appeared on Reportr.World. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.