The Philippines’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday welcomed its US counterpart’s decision to give full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines, but said the firm had yet to seek the stamp of local regulators.

Local FDA chief Eric Domingo on Tuesday said Philippine regulators would “wait for their application for a full approval.”

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was granted full approval by the US FDA on Monday.

“That is very encouraging. It means that the vaccine has undergone scrutiny and passed all safety and efficacy standards and will be commercially available soon,” Domingo said.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was the first to be approved for emergency use in the Philippines.

In a virtual presser, Palace spokesman Harry Roque said the developments in the US would speed up the process of obtaining a commercial use license in the Philippines.

“Bagama’t kinakailangang bigyan pa rin ng commercial use approval ng Philippine FDA ang Pfizer, ito po ay mapapabilis dahil mayroon tayong polisiya na ang Philippine FDA ay mas mabilis na aaprubahan for commercial use ang mga bakuna at gamot na mayroon nang approval sa mga stringent na FDAs gaya po ng Estados Unidos,” Roque said.

“Kaunting panahon na lang po ha at mabibili na sa ating mga botika ang Pfizer kung ito po ang inyong preferred brand,” he added. John Ezekiel J. Hirro