Sinopharm had submitted an application for emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccines in the Philippines.
Malacañang on Monday said that China’s Sinopharm had submitted an application for emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccines in the Philippines.
In a media briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday said that Chinese vaccine manufacturer Sinopharm had submitted its application for the emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccines in the Philippines.
“It has been filed. They have already filed with the FDA an application for EUA [Emergency Use Authorization] for Sinopharm vaccine,” Roque said.
In a report on CNN Philippines, Roque received the news during his briefing, but minutes later, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director-General Eric Domingo said that he’s unaware of such application.
According to Domingo, he didn’t know if Sinopharm applied online over the weekend, adding they haven’t yet started the evaluation.
Domingo also said that it would take FDA longer to decide on Sinopharm’s application since it had not received an emergency use authorization (EUA) for its COVID-19 vaccine from any stringent regulatory body.
“Similar siguro sa Sinovac, hindi namin kaya ng 21 days [ang pag-approve]. Siguro a month, 4 to 6 weeks dahil hindi pa sila nakakakuha ng EUA from a stringent regulatory authority or from WHO. Depende kung in between ng application nila, magkaroon sila ng ganun,” he said in a separate media briefing.
Roque previously revealed that President Rodrigo Duterte’s COVID-19 vaccine brand of choice was Sinopharm.
President Duterte, however, was unable to receive the only COVID-19 vaccine available in the Philippines — Sinovac — since the said vaccine wasn’t ideal for people over 59 years old.
The application of China’s Sinopharm had been long awaited following news that some of President Duterte’s security detail had received “smuggled” COVID-19 vaccine doses as early as September 2020 despite the absence of an emergency use authorization (EUA) approval from the country’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Allegations that “thousands” of government officials, police officers, and soldiers had illegally received the said vaccine were recently revealed by former special envoy to China Ramon “Mon” Tulfo.
The Presidential Security Group (PSG) was recently given a “compassionate special permit” to use 10,000 Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine doses even without an emergency use authorization, but it wasn’t retroactive.
On Sunday, President Duterte said that he’s waiting for another Chinese COVID-19 vaccine brand as per his doctor’s advice even though the Philippines received 600,000 Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine doses donated by the Chinese government.