FDA: AstraZeneca, Pfizer vaccines OK for senior citizens

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has assured the Covid-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca and Pfizer would be suitable for senior citizens who are among the priority targets in the national inoculation program.

FDA Director General Eric Domingo said Wednesday that for now the vaccine that has approval for senior citizens is Pfizer, based on findings from trials, adding that AstraZeneca is indicated for individuals 18 years old and above.

“We’re careful about AstraZeneca for the very elderly, those who are 80, 85 years old with comorbidities and very frail, like what was reported in Norway, but other than that, it is indicated for the elderly,” he said.

Domingo noted that the efficacy rate of Covid-19 vaccines differs depending on location, situation, and group of people they are administered to.

Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccine, he said, has a high efficacy rate for clinically healthy individuals aged 18 to 59 years as mentioned in studies in Indonesia and Turkey but is not suitable for senior citizens and healthcare workers.

“Like the study in Brazil healthcare workers caring for patients with Covid-19 were the subjects of the studies there and the efficacy rate is just 50.4. These data help us select which vaccine product is appropriate for certain individuals,” he said.