Philippines approves emergency use of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

The vaccine, which offers up to 97% protection, is the first to get approval from country's FDA

  
Vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is seen at "Chez Mauricette" coronavirus disease vaccination center in Poissy near Paris, France, January 13, 2021.

Vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is seen at "Chez Mauricette" coronavirus disease vaccination center in Poissy near Paris, France, January 13, 2021.

REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

The Philippines’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use.

The vaccine, which offers up to 97 percent protection against the virus, is the first to be allowed for emergency distribution in the Asian state.

“Based on the totality of evidence available to date, including data from adequate and well-known controlled trials, it is reasonable to believe that the Pfizer- BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine may be effective to prevent, diagnose or treat COVID-19,” the country’s FDA said during a virtual briefing on Thursday.

“The known and potential benefits of the [vaccine] when use to diagnose, prevent, treat COVID-19, outweigh the known and potential risks of said vaccine as of date and there is currently no adequate, approved and available alternative product,” it added.

The FDA clarified that the emergency use authorisation cannot be used to market the vaccine commercially.

Last December, Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte signed an executive order granting the FDA director general the authority to issue emergency use authorisation of COVID-19 vaccines.

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)

Cleofe.maceda@refinitiv.com

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