All approved vaccines safe – Concepcion

Presidential Adviser on Entrepreneurship Jose Maria “Joey” Concepcion 3rd on Thursday vouched for the safety and efficacy of all coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines that were authorized or approved for use.

JAB DONE Presidential Adviser on Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion gets his first shot of AstraZeneca vaccine. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

The founder of Go Negosyo highlighted the importance of building vaccine confidence especially with the recent setback that the private sector has faced with the decision of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to temporarily suspend the use of AstraZeneca vaccines on individuals 60 years and below.

“When the FDA released that memo, which I find too strong, this has brought down the confidence in vaccines and particularly AstraZeneca. I hope that the FDA will come up with a decision and clarify this confusion as it took us months to build the confidence of our employees,” Concepcion said.

“We might need to start over again with building up the confidence of our employees, but I assure everyone that the vaccines are safe and effective and that the benefits tremendously outweigh the risks,” he added.

Concepcion said the vaccines purchased by the private sector would start to arrive by June and “what we need to do is build vaccine confidence.”

The private sector’s “A Dose of Hope” program, led by Go Negosyo, has to date secured over 17 million doses of AstraZeneca for the private sector and local government units (LGUs) across the country.

The vaccines were purchased for $5 per dose under the nonprofit program of AstraZeneca.
The first batch of 2.6 million doses will arrive by the first week of June while the balance of 14.4 million doses will arrive in July.

“We are expecting 17 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines from the private sector and LGU procurement, and an additional 4 million from Covax,” Concepcion said.

“There will also be close to 20 million doses of Moderna that will be arriving along with other vaccines from Covovax, Gamaleya, Covaxin and Sinovac, among others, all expected till the end of the year,” he added.

On Tuesday, Concepcion took his first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine in Pasig City, following the country’s start of inoculation for persons with comorbidity.

“I wanted to show that the vaccine is safe. This is the same brand that we purchased with the private sector and LGUs through the ‘A Dose of Hope initiative, and I have full trust that AstraZeneca is safe and effective,” Concepcion said.

“The vaccine is our only way to get through this pandemic and in order to attain herd immunity, all qualified Filipinos must be vaccinated. We take these vaccines not only for our own protection but for the greater, overall health of our country. Let us all be protected,” he added.