THE Food and Drug Administration yesterday said a COVID-19 vaccine may be available in the Philippines in March following the recent developments abroad.
FDA director-general Eric Domingo made the projection a day after the UK approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use.
Domingo said there is information that the US FDA is also gearing towards the issuance of emergency use authorization for the COVID-19 vaccine of Pfizer and Moderna within two weeks.
“Kapag nag-apply po sila dito sa atin maaring by first few weeks of January mayroon na rin po tayong maibigay na emergency use authorization. Baka mapaaga nang kaunti, baka magkaroon ng chance na mga March ay magkaroon na ng bakuna sa Pilipinas,” he said.
The FDA chief said the availability of the vaccines in the Philippines can be as early as January, depending on the production and if supplies will be allotted and immediately delivered to the Philippines.
Asked what COVID-19 vaccine brands would likely be issued an EUA in the country, Domingo surmised that these are the ones which would secure the same first in other countries.
“Ang mauuna siguro ‘yung mga mayroon nang EUA sa ibang bansa katulad ng Pfizer, saka itong Sinovac, Sinopharm, Moderna, AstraZeneca. Ito po ay mga nag-apply na. Kapag nag-apply na po sila sa atin, within 21-28 days ay mabibigyan po natin ng desisyon kung approved or disapproved ang kanilang application,” he said.
On Wednesday, Malacanang announced that President Rodrigo Duterte, through Executive Order 121, has allowed the FDA to issue an EUA for COVID-19 drugs and vaccines.
The Philippines is eyeing to acquire vaccines developed by the United States, China, Russia, and the United Kingdom with the government assuring that the vaccination program is still on track to be implemented by next year.