Inactivated vaccine safer way of doing vaccination, expert says

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 12) — An inactivated vaccine, like that of China firm Sinovac’s, is much safer compared to live vaccines, an expert said.

Dr. Lulu Bravo, executive director of the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination, said inactivated vaccines are being used for a very long time now and are proven safe compared to vaccines that use live virus.

“That has already been proven time and again. When it comes to safety, iyong inactivated medyo mas maganda ang [has better] record for safety instead of the live,” she said in a briefing on Tuesday.

Inactivated vaccine is considered to be one of the oldest methods for vaccination, which uses batches of a virus that are killed and then made into a vaccine. On the other hand, live attenuated vaccine uses the weakened, live form of a virus for vaccine production.

READ: Here's a look at how the different coronavirus vaccines work

Bravo explained that the latter may be risky since it uses living virus that may possibly develop into an illness similar to the one they really cause.

“What is actually going to be crucial here is gaano katagal iyong [the duration of the] immunity na makukuha sa [you can develop from the] inactivated,” she added.

Sinovac’s vaccine uses inactivated virus, while manufacturers like AstraZeneca use live virus. Meanwhile, Pfizer and BioNTech use a new approach through the use of messenger RNA that only needs the genetic sequence of the virus.

The country is set to receive 25 million doses of Sinovac’s vaccine as early as February, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said on Monday, despite not yet having emergency use authorization in the country.

Meanwhile, Bravo told the public to trust the government’s vaccine experts since they are the ones making sure that all vaccine to be distributed in the country are effective and safe.

The Food and Drug Administration is assigned in assessing safety and efficacy of medical drugs, including vaccines. It has so far approved clinical trial for the vaccine of Janssen Pharmaceuticals Company of Johnson and Johnson, while application for emergency use of other developers are still being studied.