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Moderna seeks emergency use approval for COVID-19 vaccine in Philippines
In this file photo taken on August 13, 2020 Biotechnology company Moderna protocol files for COVID-19 vaccinations are kept at the Research Centers of America in Hollywood, Florida.
AFP/Chandan Khanna

Moderna seeks emergency use approval for COVID-19 vaccine in Philippines

Christian Deiparine (Philstar.com) - April 26, 2021 - 3:44pm

MANILA, Philippines — Local regulators on Monday said the American drugmaker Moderna has applied for emergency use approval in the Philippines for its COVID-19 vaccine.

"They submitted today and the documents are being checked," Food and Drug Administration Director General Eric Domingo told Philstar.com in an exchange.

Moderna is taken in two doses, and has reported an efficacy rate of 94%. Regulators in the US also approved it for emergency use in late 2020.

Last week, Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez said Moderna committed a target date of June 15 for the delivery of 200,000 doses. 

While a supply agreement for 20 million doses was inked in March, there remains no word if this has been finalized through a procurement deal.

The tripartite deal was made between government, the manufacturer and the private sector. Here, government will get 13 million doses, while the private sector will get the remaining seven million for its frontline workers.

"I think they're quite confident that they will be able to [roll in[ the vaccines," Romualez said. "Then, it will start increasing in succeeding months...they will complete the 20 million before the end of the year."

To date, the FDA has granted EUA to six vaccine makers: Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Sinovac, Gamaleya, Johnson & Johnson as well as Bharat Biotech.

The Duterte administration is targeting to vaccinate 50 to 70 million Filipinos this 2021 in a bid to reach herd immunity. 

Government data showed that, as of April 20, some 209,456 Filipinos are already fully-vaccinated, while 1.35 million have received their first dose. — with a report from Xave Gregorio

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