PH grants EUA to Moderna’s COVID-19 jabs

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the emergency use of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. | AFP file photo

THE Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the emergency use authorization (EUA) for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine.

“Today, after rigorous and thorough review by regulatory and medical experts using the currently available published and unpublished data, FDA is granting an emergency use authorization to Zuellig Pharma Corp. for the…COVID-19 vaccine Moderna,” FDA Director

General Eric Domingo said Wednesday, May 5.

According to him, the benefits of administering the vaccine outweigh the risks.

“It is decided that all conditions for an EUA are present and that the known and potential benefits of using the Moderna vaccine, when used to prevent COVID-19, outweigh the known potential risks of said vaccine as of date,” said Domingo.

“Interim data from ongoing Phase 3 trials of the vaccine show that the vaccine has an overall efficacy rate of over 94 percent in preventing COVID-19,” he added.

Domingo noted that the FDA only took 10 days to approve Moderna’s application because the American firm had “complete documents.”

Modern filed its EUA application on April 26. It is the seventh vaccine granted EUA in the country, along with Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Sinovac, Janssen, Covaxin, and Sputnik V.

In March, the Philippines signed a supply agreement with Moderna for 20 million doses of its vaccine.

The country’s vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. signed a tripartite agreement with the private sector-led by business tycoon Enrique Razon, chairman of International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI), and Moderna senior vice president.

Under the agreement, 13 million doses of the Moderna vaccine will go to the Philippine government sector, while seven million doses will go to the private sector.

More Sputnik V jabs

According to Galvez, more doses of Russian-made Sputnik V vaccines are scheduled to arrive in the country in the second or third week of this month.

“Naka-iskedyul na more or less mayroon tayong 1 million doses this May at we are assuming na tumaas yun ng 2 million, most likely ang delivery niyan ay mid-May (We have more or less 1 million doses are scheduled to be delivered this May and we are assuming that it may increase up to 2 million, most likely, the delivery will arrive in mid-May),” he said Wednesday.

He added that a steady supply of COVID-19 vaccines will be arriving by June.

“We will have a steady supply of Sinovac and Gamaleya and later we will have a steady supply this coming June with the additional volume either from Pfizer and Moderna, and also AstraZeneca this coming June,” said Galvez.

Previously, he said that the government is eyeing herd immunity in the National Capital Region (NCR) and nearby provinces by November.

“We can have herd immunity in NCR and six provinces around NCR by November. Iyon ang tinitingnan namin (That’s what we are looking at), 180 days,” Galvez said Tuesday, May 4.

To date, the Philippines has immunized some 1,948,080 COVID-19 vaccines for 1,658,539 Filipinos.

The country now has a total of 1,073,555 COVID-19 cases, with 17,800 fatalities and 993,042 recoveries.

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at ritchel.mendiola@asianjournalinc.com.

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