Philippines approves emergency use of China’s Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine

The Philippines’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted the emergency use authorization (EUA) to China’s Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines, FDA Director General Enrique Domingo said on Monday.

“After a thorough and rigorous review of the currently available published and unpublished data by our regulatory and medical experts, the FDA is granting an emergency use authorization to the COVID-19 vaccine of Sinovac,” Domingo told a televised press conference.

Domingo said the Sinovac vaccine “satisfies the conditions of emergency use authorization.” The Sinovac vaccine is a “safe” and “good option” for people with allergies, he added.

China’s Sinovac Biotech is the third vaccine maker given the green light by the FDA.

The FDA also granted last month an emergency use authorization to the coronavirus vaccines made by U.S. pharmaceutical firm Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, and those by the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca.

An emergency use authorization allows the use of a vaccine still being developed during public health emergencies.

The FDA clarifies that emergency authorization is not a marketing authorization or a certificate of product registration to sell the vaccine commercially.

The Philippine government aims to inoculate up to 70 million Filipinos this year, starting with health care workers, the elderly, and the poor communities.

The Philippines now has 561,169 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 12,088 deaths.