Authorities are estimating that COVID-19 vaccines may be available in the Philippines even earlier than the “best-case scenario” gauged by the government, if President Rodrigo Duterte gives his approval to the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use.
FDA Director General Eric Domingo on Friday said it is possible the vaccines may arrive in the country before the end of the second quarter of 2021 once the president allows the emergency use authorization.
“Yes, I would think so. Once we have the EUA mechanism in place then once nakakuha na sila ng EUA for example sa US FDA, mas mapapabilis talaga ang proseso… That will hasten the process of having them available here,” he said in a briefing.
[Once we have the EUA (emergency use authorization) mechanism in place and once they receive an EUA, from US for example, that will really speed up the process.]
Pharma companies like Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca are planning to apply for emergency use in the US soon. Domingo said these companies is expected to start applying in other countries, including the Philippines.
President Rodrigo Duterte has approved “in principle” the order authorizing FDA to issue EUA to vaccine firms, but it should be made official by an executive order. The FDA can cut its six-month review process to under one month once the order is issued.