DESPITE the absence of an emergency use authorization (EUA), administering a China-made Sinopharm vaccine on President Rodrigo Duterte is legal and covered by the compassionate special permit (CSP) earlier issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Interviewed over the radio, FDA director general Eric Domingo said that the vaccine injected on the President actually forms part of the doses administered to Duterte’s Presidential Security Group (PSG).
“Ito ‘yung [permit na] hiningi ng PSG dati bago pa dumating ang mga bakuna dito sa Pilipinas. Mayroon silang donation from China at hiningan ito ng special permit para nga maprotektahan ang Presidente at mukhang ‘yun din po ang ginamit sa ating pangulo kagabi,” Domingo said.
Likewise covered by the CSP are wives and partners of PSG members, he added.
However, Domingo, who claimed that there are two to three firms which have signified intent to apply for Sinopharm’s emergency use authorization, admitted that the FDA has yet to receive formal applications.
Duterte on Monday night received the Sinopharm jab against COVID-19. Health Secretary Francisco Duque administered the vaccination, photos of which were farmed out by the president’s longtime aide, now Senator Bong Go.
It was actually Duterte who admitted in December last year that his PSG members were inoculated with the Sinopharm vaccine. FDA granted a compassionate use permit only in February this year.
After the issuance of the compassionate use permit, the FDA reiterated that such does not guarantee the product’s safety and efficacy.