FDA sees possible COVID-19 vaccine rollout in PH by March 2021
MANILA, Philippines — A COVID-19 vaccine can possibly roll out in the Philippines as early as March 2021 following the positive developments of vaccine usage abroad, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Thursday.
FDA Director-General Eric Domingo said this is possible if the agency issues an emergency use authorization (EUA) to a COVID-19 vaccine by January 2021.
“So kapag nag-apply po sila dito sa atin, maaari pong first weeks of January ay meron na din tayong maibigay na emergency use authorization at baka po mapaaga ng kaunti,” Domingo said in an online Palace briefing.
(If they apply here in the Philippines, it’s possible that by the first weeks of January, we can issue them an emergency use authorization.)
“Baka po magkaroon ng chance ng mga March ay magkaroon na ng bakuna dito sa Pilipinas,” he added.
(There will be a chance that by March, there’s already a COVID-19 vaccine here in the Philippines.)
Domingo noted that the vaccine’s availability for mass immunization would still depend on supply and other logistics needed.
“Magiging depende na lang po sa production, kung mayroong mailalaan na supply para sa Pilipinas at maidedeliver agad dito sa atin para po madistribute natin,” he said.
(It will depend on the production, if there will be a supply intended for the Philippines and if it will be delivered here immediately for distribution.)
The United Kingdom became the first country in the world to approve Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for use.
With Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine securing an approval from the UK, Domingo said it is possible that the pharmaceutical firm is also readying to apply for an EUA in other countries like the Philippines.
President Rodrigo Duterte already allowed the FDA to issue an EUA to COVID-19 drugs and vaccines. The EUA would hasten the processing time for approval of possible treatment for the respiratory disease.
Domingo said those that have already secured an EUA in their respective countries would likely be the first ones to apply for an EUA in the Philippines.
“Ang mauuna mag-apply ay ‘yung mga mayroon nang EUA sa ibang bansa katulad po ng Pfizer, si Moderna kung makakuha, si Sinovac at Sinopharm dahil nakakuha na sila ng similar authorization sa ibang bansa na kinakailangan po natin bago sila makapag-apply dito,” he said.
(The first to apply will be those who already have an EU from other countries like Pfizer, Modern if they secure one, Sinovac and Sinopharm since they already have a similar authorization in their country that we need before they can apply here.)
It will take 21 to 28 days before the FDA will make a decision on whether it is approved or disapproved for usage in the country, Domingo explained.
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