A vaccine expert said that President Rodrigo Duterte may get Sinovac’s CoronaVac as his second COVID-19 vaccine dose if Sinopharm fails to secure regulatory approval in the Philippines. Dr. Rontgene Solante of the Vaccine Expert Panel (VEP) said this is possible since the two China-made vaccines use the same platform.
During a Health Department forum, Dr Solante said that the Chief Executive can still get Sinopharm for the second dose, but it has to produce the data and submit it to VEP and the Food and Drug Administration. Dr Solante added that, if for example Sinopharm is not approved, there is another similar vaccine that has been given approval: That is Sinovac.
Only Sinovac has been approved for emergency use in the country…but despite this, President Duterte got inoculated with a Sinopharm jab that was only covered by a compassionate special permit.
Dr Solante clarified that Sinopharm has not submitted documents for the VEP to assess. If only they had done that before the President got vaccinated, we could have reviewed their vaccine then we can also give our recommendation to the FDA. “We also stand by our policy that as long as Sinopharm has not been issued an Emergency Use Authorization(EUA), it must not be used”, Dr Solante added.
The Food and Drug Administration earlier said there is still no pending application for emergency use authorization (EUA) of Sinopharm’s vaccine because none of the three firms that expressed intent to apply have the needed requirements.