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Philippines’ FDA approves Pfizer vaccine for emergency use

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The success rate of the vaccine developed by US drugmaker Pfizer and German partner BioNTech was far higher than what regulators had said would have been acceptable. Experts said it was a significant achievement in the race to end the pandemic. -- Image via REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

The Philippines has approved Pfizer Inc.-BioNTech SE’s COVID-19 vaccine, the first to be allowed for emergency use in the country.

The Food and Drug Administration found Pfizer’s vaccine may be effective to prevent, diagnose or treat COVID-19, and can be used for individuals age 16 years old and up, its head Eric Domingo said in a virtual briefing.

Sinovac Biotech Ltd. has applied for a similar authority on Wednesday, and the regulator will ask for more clinical trial reports, Domingo said.

Pfizer vaccines may be among the first to arrive in the Philippines next month through the World Health Organization-backed COVAX facility, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez said at a briefing with President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Wednesday. The government is also in talks with Pfizer for up to 40 million doses, Mr. Galvez said.  —  Cecilia Yap and Andreo Calonzo/Bloomberg

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