DOH to new FDA chief: Ensure accessibility of COVID-19 jabs
MANILA, Philippines — Maria Rosario Vergeire, officer in charge of the Department of Health (DOH), has directed the new head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure that COVID-19 jabs would be accessible to the public in the event that the state of calamity expires or is lifted.
In welcoming the appointment of Dr. Samuel Zacate as the new FDA director general, Vergeire said that among her “marching orders” was for the regulatory authority to reach out to pharmaceutical companies and vaccine developers for the authorization of their products. FDA is the country’s regulatory agency under the DOH.
“The need to explore with [vaccine] manufacturers to determine who among them have plans to apply for complete CPR (certificate of product registration) … because if and when the state of calamity is lifted, we need COVID vaccines with CPR,” Vergeire told reporters at the DOH main office on Friday.
Jabs against COVID-19 in the current stockpile are approved only for emergency use. Manufacturers of these vaccines would have to secure a CPR from the FDA for them to be able to sell, distribute, promote, advertise, import and export the product.
The health undersecretary also bared that she ordered the new FDA leadership to “expedite” the acquisition of medical technologies, specifically vaccines and medicines, for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.
“They need to streamline … and make their processes efficient. They need to speed up their evaluations being taken by this office to ensure better outcomes and so that we can be able to have more access to these technologies,” she said.
On Wednesday, Malacañang announced the appointment of Zacate, a public health expert who served as the lead physician of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. when he was infected with COVID-19 last month.
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