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FDA says Sinopharm has filed application for EUA

Chinese firm Sinopharm has filed an application for emergency use authorization (EUA) of its coronavirus vaccine, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed Tuesday.

“There was an online application filed yesterday afternoon. Our officers are now checking the contents of the submission,” FDA chief Eric Domingo told GMA News.

On Monday, presidential spokesman Harry Roque announced that Sinopharm had already submitted its application but Domingo was not immediately able to confirm it. 

The FDA chief earlier said that the drug regulator would need four to six weeks to evaluate the Sinopharm vaccine due to its lack of approval from any stringent regulatory authority such as the US FDA or the World Health Organization (WHO).

“Depende na lang kung in the meantime, kung in between ng application nila ay magkaroon sila ng gano’n, ng US FDA [approval] o kaya as UK o kaya itong mga Asian countries na alam nating stringent sila o sa WHO,” he told state-run PTV.

Roque earlier said President Rodrigo Duterte prefers to be inoculated with the Sinopharm vaccine. 

Last year, Duterte himself revealed that some military men received the Sinopharm jab even though it has not yet been cleared for use in the country. 

Journalist Mon Tulfo, formerly Duterte’s special envoy to China, also claimed that government officials were blocking the President’s access to Sinopharm vaccines. 

During the ceremony for the arrival of 600,000 Sinovac doses on Sunday, Duterte said he requested for a personal supply of a COVID-19 vaccine that he did not name. 

The 75-year-old Duterte said his doctor wants a Chinese vaccine brand for him since he is not qualified to receive the Sinovac shot, which is only recommended for healthy individuals aged 18 to 59.

“Ako naghingi ako, personal. Wala silang stock. Nanghingi ako para sa pamilya ko pati sa akin. I do not know if we would have enough vaccines for everybody, but I think I can accommodate itong Cabinet members,” Duterte had said. —KBK, GMA News