The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday said that it is currently fast-tracking its review of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use authorization (EUA).
FDA Director General Eric Domingo assured that the agency might soon grant the EUA to the American multinational company.
“We’re not taking long while waiting and believe me, we are making this as quick as possible and I am quite sure [it] will be out with the authorization within a week. That is quite short if you compare it to other countries,” he told ANC.
On 23 Dec., the company submitted its application and the evaluation started a few days after.
Aside from this, Domingo said the FDA is also awaiting the submission of applications from other vaccine firms.
Among which, include the British firm AstraZeneca who has already originally secured a tripartite agreement with the Philippine government in supplying 2.6 million doses.
“AstraZeneca is also preparing their submission because they got their EUA from [the] United Kingdom and India, and I believe they will be submitting very soon. So now we are anticipating that one,” he said.
He added that China’s Sinovac Biotech and Russia’s Gamaleya Institute have also been in talks with the FDA while another Chinese firm Sinopharm and the US’ Moderna have yet to contact them.
Domingo explained that the EUA would not necessarily mean an immediate procurement of vaccines which he noted may take some more time due to issues in the supply.
But he said that at present, FDA, along with other agencies, are already in the process of ensuring the vaccine roadmap including its roll out soon.
Meanwhile, former health secretary Esperanza Cabral also said that the level of vaccine hesitancy identified among the public is ‘very alarming’ which is likewise considered a ‘dangerous leap’ on the COVID-19 immunization program.
This came after the OCTA research group recently identified that only 25 percent of Metro Manila respondents are willing to be vaccinated.
It was already earlier mentioned by several experts that trust on the vaccines must be established at the earliest as it could hamper the projected target of immunized sectors in the population.
At present, local government units have also been eyeing to secure vaccines for their own municipalities as more areas set aside funds for their procurement.
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