The Sinopharm vaccine from China has been approved for emergency use in the Philippines, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Monday.

FDA chief Eric Domingo made the announcement during a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte and Cabinet officials.

“So ito [Sinopharm vaccines] ay tiningnan na ng ating mga experts at ng atin pong evaluation sa FDA. And today, we already granted an emergency use authorization to the Department of Health to accept the donations of Sinopharm,” he said.

The Sinopharm vaccine was used to inoculate Duterte against Covid-19 in May, when it had yet to be approved for emergency use.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently approved the Sinopharm vaccine for emergency use, meaning it could be distributed among countries through the Covax facility.

The WHO approval led to the DOH applying the Sinopharm vaccine for emergency use last May 20.

The FDA granted 10,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccines a compassionate use license in February this year, which included the dose used to vaccinate Duterte.

The other Covid-19 vaccines approved for emergency use in the Philippines are two-dose vaccines Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Sinovac, Covaxin and Sputnik V and the single-dose Janssen vaccine.

According to a recent Social Weather Stations survey, Sinopharm was preferred by 3 percent of Filipinos. John Ezekiel J. Hirro