FDA: Sinopharm vaccine given to Duterte covered by special permit
This photo shows Health Sec. Francisco Duque III administering the Sinopharm vaccine to President Rodrigo Duterte on May 3, 2021
Sen. Bong Go, Facebook

FDA: Sinopharm vaccine given to Duterte covered by special permit

Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - May 4, 2021 - 12:36pm

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s Food and Drug Administration said the COVID-19 vaccine administered to President Rodrigo Duterte was covered by the compassionate use permit granted to the chief executive’s security group.

FDA Director General Eric Domingo said this in an interview with ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo Tuesday after Duterte received his first shot of the jab developed by Sinopharm Group Co. Ltd.

The country’s FDA has yet to approve the vaccine for emergency use. The Chinese-made jab has been restricted to compassionate use only in the Philippines.

In February, the FDA granted the Presidential Security Group’s application for compassionate special permit to access 10,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine. A CSP allows the use of unregistered medical products, such as the Sinopharm jab, for limited off-label use.

“When you say compassionate special permit, it’s not an authorization given by the FDA. In this case, the head of the PSG hospital guarantees they studied the vaccine and they take full responsibility for it,” Domingo said.

It is unclear why Duterte, a president, was covered by the permit given to his security team. But Domingo said the wives and partners of PSG personnel are also covered by the CSP.

The vaccine given to Duterte was the same one illegally administered to his security group before any jab had been approved for emergency use.

FDA yet to study Sinopharm jab

The FDA chief also said his agency has yet to evaluate the vaccine injected to Duterte by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.

“The FDA has yet to study it (Sinopharm vaccine),” Domingo said.

He said there were EUA applications for the Sinopharm vaccines but parties have yet to submit requirements.

The chief executive has previously expressed confidence in vaccines made in China and Russia. 

Currently, the vaccines developed by Sinovac, AstraZeneca and Gamaleya Research Institute are being rolled out in the Philippines.

Since the start of the vaccination program in March, over 1.6 million people have received first dose, while fewer than 300,000 have been fully vaccinated.

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: June 15, 2021 - 12:23pm

The national government has so far secured two official deals for COVID-19 vaccine supplies in the Philippines, one with Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac and another with the Serum Institute of India.

Watch this space for bite-sized developments on the vaccines in the Philippines. (Main image by Markus Spiske via Unsplash)

June 15, 2021 - 12:23pm

Japan is donating AstraZeneca vaccines to the Philippines, Japanese Ambassador Koshikawa Kazuhiko announces on his Twitter account.

"[W]e'll make sure to deliver them at the soonest possible time so no one gets left behind during this pandemic," he also says.

June 11, 2021 - 12:13pm

Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo says that as far as he knows all of the sitting justices of the Supreme Court have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

He says the court asked for justices to be classified as A4. Some of the justices are also already senior citizens.

June 10, 2021 - 8:58pm

More than 2 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines from the Covax facility arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Thursday night.

More than 200,000 doses will be distributed to Cebu and Davao while the remaining doses are for Metro Manila.

June 10, 2021 - 7:48am

Another 1 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine have arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Vaccination of economic frontliners, or workers in the A4 category, kicked off this month.

June 7, 2021 - 10:21am

The government marks the rollout of vaccines for the A4, or economic frontliners, category with a ceremony at a mall in Pasay City.

Around 35 million Filipinos are in the priority group, which has been expanded to include all who are required to physically report to work.

Pandemic restrictions have seen some Filipinos shift to remote work or work-from-home arrangements but many employees, especially those in the service sector, do not have that option.

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