Using COVID-19 jabs without EUA a 'mockery' of FDA, Robredo says
In this March 6, 2020 photo, Vice President Leni Robredo speaks at the graduation of Leaders for Excellence and Public Service Mayors’ Fellowship Program Batch 3 at the Quezon City Reception House.
OVP/Jay Ganzon

Using COVID-19 jabs without EUA a 'mockery' of FDA, Robredo says

(Philstar.com) - May 9, 2021 - 4:10pm

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday warned that using COVID-19 vaccines without emergency use approval only undermine local regulators, after President Rodrigo Duterte was inoculated with Sinopharm last week.

The president stirred controversy anew after receiving his first dose of the Chinese-made jab on May 3. The Food and Drug Administration has cleared six vaccines, but Sinopharm has yet to be included in the list.

Over radio DZXL, Robredo said using jabs without EUA could harm efforts by the FDA, whose experts are tasked to check that vaccines coming in to the country undergo rigorous assessment.

"We have to be careful," she said in Filipino. "In a way, you are promoting the vaccine administered to you and that's difficult if it has no EUA. It makes a mockery of our existing regulatory agencies."

The country's No. 2 added that she would get a vaccine as soon as it is available. But she said she would wait for her turn to ensure that those who urgently need it would get it first.

"If we don't use vaccines with EUA, then it is as if the FDA has no purpose, right?" Robredo added.

This marks the second controversy involving Sinopharm in the Philippines. To date, no one has been held accountable over its illegal inoculation to the Presidential Security Group last year.

In January, Robredo said the smuggled vaccines could hurt efforts to build public trust on the jabs as she called for transparency on its investigation.

The president has since ordered the return of the 1,000 doses of Sinopharm to China after drawing criticism. But he also sought to qualify his decision as saying it was his doctor's choice, and "all things said, this is my life." —  Christian Deiparine

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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