BREAK: China's Sinovac applies for EUA in PH for its COVID-19 vaccine | Inquirer News
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BREAK: China’s Sinovac applies for EUA in PH for its COVID-19 vaccine

/ 12:23 PM January 14, 2021

A medical worker takes a box of Sinovac’s vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from a refrigerator at a community health center in Qingdao, Shandong province, China January 5, 2021. Picture taken January 5, 2021. China Daily via REUTERS

MANILA, Philippines — China’s Sinovac has applied for an emergency use authorization (EUA) in the Philippines for its COVID-19 vaccine.

“Yesterday afternoon, nag submit ng application ang Sinovac. Ang EUA nito is from China and they are undergoing pre-assessment now,” FDA Director-General Eric Domingo said in an online press briefing on Thursday.

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(Sinovac submitted its application yesterday afternoon. The EUA it currently has is from China and its application for a EUA in the Philippines is undergoing pre-assessment.)

However, he said the pharmaceutical firm still has to submit more data on its clinical trials.

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“Medyo kulang pa ‘yung clinical trial data na pinadala nila. Nakita ko ang pinadala pa lang nila ‘yung clinical trial phase 1 and phase 2. We will have to ask them for the clinical trial phase 3 report,” said Domingo.

(The clinical trial data they have sent still lack some details. I saw that they only submitted data on their clinical trial phases 1 and 2. We will have to ask them for their report for clinical trial phase 3.)

Sinovac is the fourth vaccine manufacturer to submit its application for a EUA in the Philippines for COVID-19 vaccines.

American pharmaceutical firm Pfizer was the first to apply for a EUA on December 23 last year. The company acquired an emergency use authorization from the Philippines’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday.

British-Swede pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca also applied for a EUA on January 6, and Russia’s Gamaleya Institute applied for the authorization for its Sputnik V vaccine on January 7.

The Philippines has already secured 25 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from Sinovac, 50,000 of which will arrive in the country by February.

However, some critics have been questioning the government’s supposed preference for vaccines from Sinovac, considering its higher price and lesser reported efficacy rate as compared to other vaccines.

Reports state that the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Sinovac Biotech showed a general efficacy of less than 60 percent in its late-stage trial in Brazil. The Department of Science and Technology maintains that the efficacy of the vaccines from the Chinese firm is acceptable as it is within the minimum requirement of the World Health Organization.

/MUF

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