MANILA – Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Monday said the “best vaccine” to contain the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in the country is the vaccine that is now readily available.
Lorenzana was referring to the country’s first 600,000 doses of Sinovac vaccine donated by China and arrived in the country on board a Chinese military aircraft on Sunday.
“The best vaccine is that vaccine that is here available, kaya nga hindi ko maintindihan itong ating mga detractors nung hindi dumarating yung vaccine ay panay ang batikos sa atin, nung dumating binatikos pa rin na hindi maganda daw yung Sinovac, pero 13 bansa na po yung gumagamit ng Sinovac at wala naman silang reklamo (that is why I don’t understand why our detractors, who are always criticizing us when there is no vaccine yet, are still criticizing us when there is already a vaccine claiming Sinovac is not good but yet 13 countries are already using and they have no complaint so far),” Lorenzana said.
He made the comment as he graced the official kickoff of the immunization campaign for the DND and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) personnel at the Victoriano Luna Medical Center (also known as V. Luna) in Quezon City Monday.
Lorezana said if 13 countries have already been using the Chinese-made Sinovac, it means the CoronaVac is “clinically” tested.
“So let us be very thankful to the Chinese government for donating this vaccine,” he said.
He also visited the vaccination rollout at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center where he wanted to have himself vaccinated but was dissuaded by experts as those below 18 and above 59 years old are not advised to take the vaccine.
“We will follow the advice of our experts na hindi na tayo magpabakuna muna and hintayin natin yung angkop sa ating edad (not to have myself vaccinated for the meantime and wait for vaccine that is more appropriate for my age),” the 72-year-old DND chief said.
Lorenzana said the military front-liners will be prioritized using Sinovac’s vaccines.
The 100,000 of the 600,000 doses of Sinovac vaccine were donated by the Chinese Ministry of Defense to the DND.
The DND will initially inoculate 14,520 individuals using 29,040 doses. The remaining 70,960 doses will be given to the AFP. (PNA)