CHINESE drug maker Sinopharm Group Co., Ltd. has applied for an emergency use authorization (EUA) for its coronavirus vaccine in the Philippines, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“An online application was filed yesterday afternoon and the FDA is checking the contents of the submission now,” FDA Director General Rolando Enrique D. Domingo said in a Viber message on Tuesday.
Presidential spokesman Harry L. Roque, Jr. said President R. Duterte would wait for the approval of Sinopharm’s application before receiving the shot.
Mr. Roque on Monday said Sinopharm had sought the authorization, but the FDA did not immediately confirm it.
Mr. Domingo said it would take as long as six weeks for them to decide on Sinopharm’s application since it had not received an EUA from any stringent regulatory bodies in other countries.
The FDA earlier allowed the compassionate use of 10,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccines for members of the Presidential Security Group, which used the drugs without the agency’s approval.
Ramon T. Tulfo, Jr., the country’s special envoy to China, earlier said he and other high-ranking government officials received the Chinese shots last year.
Mr. Roque earlier said the presidential legal team was studying whether the President, as commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, is covered by the compassionate use authorization for Sinopharm.
Only the shots developed by America’s Pfizer, Inc. British drug maker AstraZeneca Plc, Chinese drug maker Sinovac Biotech Ltd. have been approved for local emergency use. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza