MANILA, Dec 26 (Reuters) – The Philippines is evaluating the emergency use of Pfizer Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine, the presidential spokesman said on Saturday.

Pfizer was the first company to seek the Philippine regulator’s approval for emergency use of its coronavirus vaccine, Harry Roque, spokesman of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, said in a statement.

It will take the food and drugs agency 21 days to evaluate and approve the vaccine, he said, adding that inoculation would start as soon as stocks become available.

The Philippines has the second highest number of COVID-19 infections and deaths in Southeast Asia, next to Indonesia.