The Philippines has approved Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccines for emergency use, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Thursday.

“The FDA today is granting an emergency use authorization (EUA) to Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine,” FDA Director General Eric Domingo said in a virtual briefing.

“It is decided that all conditions for an EUA are present and that the benefit of using the vaccine outweighs the known and potential risks,” he added.

Receiving EUAs would allow vaccines to be approved for use in the Philippines within 21 days instead of the six-month frame without authorization.

The approval came 22 days since Pfizer applied for an EUA for its vaccines in the Philippines.

The country has yet to sign a deal with Pfizer, but vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr. earlier said officials were “negotiating for more or less 40 million doses” from the American firm.

However, the early arrival of the vaccines in the Philippines would depend on the Covax facility’s recommendation.

The Pfizer vaccine, administered in two doses, has a 95-percent efficacy rate.

The FDA has yet to decide on British pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca’s EUA application. John Ezekiel J. Hirro