Two Chinese pharmaceutical firms to apply for EUA in Philippines this week, says envoy
Chinese pharmaceutical firms Sinopharm and Sinovac are eyeing to file this week for an emergency use authorization with the Philippine Food and Drug Administration, the Philippines' envoy to China said on Monday.
In a televised press briefing, Ambassador Jose Santiago Sta. Romana said his office has been in touch with the two Chinese companies and tried to facilitate contact with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
"We ask them when they will file for EUA with the FDA in the Philippines. Apparently, their plan right now, according to them is that they hope to file in the next few days sometime this week. They will file their EUA application with the FDA in the Philippines," he said.
Sta. Romana noted that recently, the Chinese government announced that it granted the provisional approval for general use to the vaccine produced by Sinopharm, a state-owned pharmaceutical company.
Sinovac, which has also applied for general use authorization, could also get its nod by middle of this month, he said.
Both Sinorpharm and Sinovac initially got their emergency use approval and have vaccinated about one million Chinese citizens.
With the general use authorization, Sta. Romana said, "they hope to ramp up their production and embark on a mass inoculation campaign."
He said the initial plan between now and Feburary 5 prior to Chinese New Year is to vaccinate at least 50 million Chinese.
"The reason for this is because one, it is winter here in China particularly northern China, it's cold, this is the flu season, pneumonia season. Second, it is also Chinese New Year, is the time of the year when most Chinese travel to their hometowns and so they expect a lot of travel and possibly it increasese the risk of infection of the virus," he said.
The Presidential Security Group leadership earlier admitted some of its members have been injected with Chinese vaccine despite having no approval yet from the FDA.
President Rodrigo Duterte himself said Sinopharm vaccine was used to "a lot" of Filipinos, including soldiers. Celerina Monte/DMS