DOH to probe report on US anti-vax campaign

Mayen Jaymalin - The Philippine Star
DOH to probe report on US anti-vax campaign
Healthcare workers get vaccinated against COVID-19 during the launch of the bivalent Pfizer vaccine at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan on June 22, 2023.
STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) is seeking an investigation on the alleged secret operation of the United States to discredit China’s COVID-19 vaccine Sinovac at the height of the pandemic.

Health Assistant Secretary Albert Domingo said an investigation is imperative as the alleged target market of the US move was the Filipino public, based on a special report by Reuters.

“The findings by Reuters deserve to be investigated and heard by the authorities of the involved countries,” Domingo said in a statement.

Reuters reported that the US military launched a secret campaign to counter what it perceived as China’s growing influence in the Philippines.

The US operation was supposedly aimed at sowing doubts on the safety and efficacy of vaccines and other life-saving aid then being supplied by China to the Philippines, such as Sinovac vaccines for COVID-19.

The Reuters special report noted how social media posts then criticized the quality of face masks, test kits and the Sinovac vaccines available in the country.

The US operations allegedly began in the spring of 2020 and was terminated only by mid-2021, according to the report.

Based on DOH data, there were a total of 181,645,251 COVID-19 jabs administered in the Philippines by Dec. 31, 2023.

Of the total doses used in the Philippines, 48,734,507 jabs used Sinovac.

DOH data also showed that a total of 37,353 Sinovac jabs administered resulted in adverse reactions.

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