Sinopharm EUA only covers batch donated by China, Palace says
This picture shows boxes of the Chinese Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine during a mass vaccination campaign at the Boris Trajkovski Arena in Skopje on May 6, 2021.
AFP/Robert Atanasovski

Sinopharm EUA only covers batch donated by China, Palace says

Bella Perez-Rubio (Philstar.com) - June 8, 2021 - 1:33pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Emergency Use Authorization issued for the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Chinese state-owned Sinopharm only covers doses donated to the Philippines and were used on President Rodrigo Duterte and others, Malacañang clarified Tuesday. 

Food and Drug Administration chief Eric Domingo during a meeting with the pandemic task force aired Monday night announced that the agency granted the Department of Health an EUA to accept donations from Sinopharm. 

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque during his regular briefing on Tuesday emphasized that the EUA only covers the 1,000 jabs already donated by the Chinese manufacturer. 

"Because the EUA is specific that it was for the donated Sinopharm. So, if more will be imported, I think a separate EUA will have to be given to the entity that will import it," Roque said partially in Filipino.  

Domingo in March said two local distributors for Sinopharm's COVID-19 vaccine have contacted the FDA, but neither of them has sent the documents needed for the application to proceed.

The Chinese state-owned firm's vaccine has figured in a number of controversies since 2020.

Last month, President Rodrigo Duterte was publicly inoculated against COVID-19 with a Sinopharm jab, drawing criticism for using an unauthorized jab not yet available to the rest of the public. 

Seemingly frustrated by the uproar over his vaccination, Duterte asked China to stop donating Sinopharm vaccines and to take back the 1,000 doses already delivered. 

The DOH later said it would apply for an EUA so the doses would not have to be sent back. 

In 2020, Duterte revealed that members of the Presidential Security Group had already been inoculated with smuggled Sinopharm vaccines. The FDA later granted the PSG a compassionate use permit for 10,000 doses of the vaccine.

Columnist Mon Tulfo, who said he was seeking a permit to bring in Sinopharm vaccines, admitted in February to taking a dose of the unauthorized vaccine that he said had been smuggled into the country by a friend. 

The government has so far failed to hold anybody accountable for the smuggled Sinopharm vaccines. 

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