The country’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved for emergency use vaccines by British drugmaker AstraZeneca.

In a Laging Handa briefing, FDA chief Eric Domingo said all conditions for emergency use authorization (EUA) were present in AstraZeneca’s drug data.

“As for AstraZeneca, after a thorough review of the currently available data by our medical and regulatory experts, the FDA is granting an EUA to the Covid-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca,” he said.

“It is decided that all conditions for an EUA are present, iyon pong mga nabanggit natin na required conditions one, two and three; and that the benefit of using the vaccine outweighs the known and potential risks,” he added.

AstraZeneca is only the second vaccine to be approved for emergency use in the Philippines.

But unlike Pfizer’s vaccines, the first to be given EUA, AstraZeneca’s vaccines are easier to store as they only require storage in 2 to 8 degrees.

The first dose of AstraZeneca’s vaccine has a 70-percent efficacy rate. The efficacy of the second dose has yet to be determined.

On Nov. 27, 2020, the Philippines purchased 2.6 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines via a tripartite agreement with the private sector for delivery in June 2021. 

The country’s vaccination program is expected to have a February rollout. John Ezekiel J. Hirro