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DOH urges COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers to apply for PH CPR

The Department of Health has asked manufacturers of vaccines against COVID-19 to apply for certificate of product registration in the Philippines should the country declare an end to the public health emergency.

Department of Health officer in charge Maria Rosario Vergeire made the remark days after the World Health Organization declared the end to the COVID-19 global health emergency.

Vergeire said countries were not required to follow the WHO as the international body may only a guide what to do in cases of health emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Whatever we have as policy here in the country for vaccination is not linked to the public health emergency of international concern,” Vergeire said in a media forum.

The state of public health emergency in the Philippines was declared in March 2020, the onset of the pandemic, by then-President Rodrigo Duterte.

Under Proclamation 922, the state of a public health emergency would remain in force and effect until lifted or withdrawn by the President.

Vergeire said the authority of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue emergency use authorization (EUA) for COVID-19 vaccines would be gone once the Philippines’ own public health emergency is lifted.

“Kung saka-sakali lang na mapunta tayo sa ganyang path na ‘yung public health emergency ay ma-lift dahil sa PHEIC lifting, 'yung ating mga bakuna o manufacturers are now being encouraged to apply for the CPR kasi mawawala na ‘yung authority ng FDA to issue out these EUAs,” Vergeire said.

(If the public health emergency is lifted due to the PHEIC lifting, our vaccines or manufacturers are now being encouraged to apply for the CPR because the authority of the FDA will be lost to issue these EUAs.)

“Kahit ‘yung mga donasyon na dadating sa ating bansa kailangan with CPR na. And sa tingin namin hindi ito mahirap gawin dahil halos lahat ng bansa na gumagamit ngayon ng bivalent, meron na rin silang CPR for their bivalent," she added.

(Even the donations that come to our country must be with CPR. And we think this is not difficult to do because almost all countries that use bivalent now, also have CPR for their bivalent vaccines.)

Vergeire said that the Philippines may only declare an end to its state of public health emergency due to COVID-19 if infections and hospital utilization remain manageable. —NB, GMA Integrated News