The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet studied the China-made Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine that was administered to President Rodrigo Duterte, its chief said Tuesday (May 4).
In an interview over ABS-CBN Teleradyo, FDA Director General Eric Domingo said the agency has not yet granted emergency use authorization (EUA) to Sinopharm. Only a compassionate special permit was given to the Presidential Security Group (PSG) to use the vaccine, he added.
An EUA is needed for a COVID-19 vaccine to be widely used in the Philippines.
Asked why Duterte preferred Sinopharm over other vaccine brands that was granted EUA by the FDA, Domingo said: “I think it’s a personal preference. Sa amin po, ang Sinopharm hindi pa napag-aralan ng FDA ‘yan.”
Domingo said the compassionate special permit meant the head of PSG’s hospital takes full responsibility for the vaccine’s effects.
Duterte received Sinopharm’s COVID-19 vaccine in Malacanang Tuesday (May 3). It was administered to him by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.
Domingo said the World Health Organization is continuing its evaluation of the China-made vaccine.