J&J, Bharat Biotech get emergency use approval for COVID-19 vaccines
A health worker is seen being vaccinated against the COVID-19 at the Lung Center of the Philippines in Manila on March 1, 2021.
AFP/Maria Tan

J&J, Bharat Biotech get emergency use approval for COVID-19 vaccines

(Philstar.com) - April 19, 2021 - 11:04pm

MANILA, Philippines — Two more foreign drugmakers were cleared for emergency use of their COVID-19 vaccine in the Philippines, the Food and Drug Administration said Monday. 

FDA chief Eric Domingo said they issued the EUA to Johnson & Johnson and Bharat Biotech, as reported by News5.

The US-based pharmaceutical is the maker of the single-dose COVID-19 jab and applied for emergency use this April. It showed to be 85.4% effective in preventing severe disease based on global clinical trials, and 66.1% when including moderate forms of the COVID-19.

It recently made the headlines in the United States after health authorities there paused its use over reported cases of rare and severe type of blood clot for those who took it.

India's Bharat Biotech, meanwhile, turned in its application for Covaxin in January. The vaccine was developed under a partnership with the Indian Council of Medical Research and National Institute of Virology.

It is an inactivated vaccine taken in two doses that has a reported 81% efficacy rate. 

Those with history of allergies, are immune-compromised, pregnant, breastfeeding mother, have bleeding disorder, fever or other serious health-related issues are not advised to receive this.

FDA's issued approval brings the number of vaccine makers with EUA to six, along with Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Sinovac and Gamaleya.

An EUA, however, does not automatically secure supplies for the country. Government would still have to ink final purchase deals with the manufacturers.

In a timeline that vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. presented in March, he said an initial 1.5 million doses of the J&J jabs could reach the Philippines by July, while he made no mention of Covaxin. — Christian Deiparine with reports from News5/Greg Gregorio

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