Duterte agrees to issue order on emergency use of COVID-19 vaccines
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte holds a meeting with some members of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on April 13, 2020.
Presidential photo/Karl Norman Alonzo
Duterte agrees to issue order on emergency use of COVID-19 vaccines
Xave Gregorio (Philstar.com) - November 19, 2020 - 12:20pm

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has agreed to issue an executive order for the emergency use of COVID-19 vaccines, which would shorten the time for them to be rolled out to the public, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.

“This will speed up the process of the use of vaccines that have been authorized for use by the Food and Drug Administrations of the countries where they were developed,” Roque said Thursday in Filipino.

Speaking over DZRH, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said they have convinced the Office of the President to issue an executive order which would allow the Food and Drug Administration to issue emergency use authorizations (EUAs) to vaccines.

He said that a draft of the executive order has been sent to the Office of the President for review and for Duterte’s signature.

“The FDA does not have that power under the law,” Duque said partly in Filipino. “That’s why we’re asking for it through an executive order for the FDA to be able to give emergency use authorizations in this period of public health emergency.”

Duque asked Duterte to issue an executive order to allow the emergency use of vaccines during the weekly meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

He said then that this would cut the processing time for vaccine approval from six months to just 21 days.

American pharmaceutical firm Pfizer has said that it is “very close” to applying for EUA for their candidate COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. Pfizer and German pharmaceutical company BioNTech have said that their vaccine is 95% effective.

Russia’s Gamaleya Research Center and American pharmaceutical firm Moderna have also reported positive results from their respective vaccine trials.

These reports, however, have yet to be peer-reviewed and published in a medical journal.

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