Palace eyes compassionate use license for Duterte’s Sinopharm shots
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang is studying whether President Rodrigo Duterte can be immunized against Covid-19 using China-based drugmaker Sinopharm’s vaccine under the compassionate use license issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said Thursday.
The FDA earlier issued a compassionate use license for 10,000 doses for Sinopharm’s vaccine meant for the Presidential Security Group (PSG).
“Pinag-aaralan if the compassionate use license can be a basis for the President who is after all the chief-of-staff of the Armed Forces of the Philipines kung p’wede siyang pumasok doon sa compassionate use clause ng Sinopharm,” Roque said in a Palace briefing.
(It is being studied whether the compassionate use license can be a basis for the President, who is the chief-of-staff of the AFP, to get the Sinopharm vaccine.)
For Roque, the President should be allowed to use the Sinopharm vaccine under the compassionate use license.
Duterte earlier expressed preference for the Sinopharm brand, even though it has yet to secure an emergency use authorization from the FDA.
However, Roque said the President can still opt for the Covid-19 vaccine of Chinese drugmaker Sinovac, even though it is not recommended for senior citizens.
“Sabi lang ng FDA, it is not recommended, hindi po pinagbabawalan. So it’s up to the President pa rin kung magpapaturok siya ng Sinovac, although he has expressed his preference for Sinopharm,” Roque said.
(The FDA has said it is not recommended, but it is not prohibited. So it’s up to the President if he wants to get the Sinovac shots.)
Roque announced that 600,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines are expected to arrive on Sunday, Feb. 28.
The President is expected to be among the first to get vaccinated against Covid-19 to boost vaccine confidence among Filipinos.
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