The Food and Drug Administration said Monday it authorized the emergency use of the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine -- the first Chinese-made jab approved by the World Health Organization.
An emergency use authorization of EUA will expedite the Sinopharm vaccine's availability in the country. The FDA considered the WHO certification in allowing the use of the vaccine locally, Director General Eric Domingo said.
The EUA will allow the Department of Health to accept Sinopharm donations from China, he said.
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The WHO had recommended that the two Sinopharm shots be taken three to four weeks apart.
The vaccine's efficacy for symptomatic and hospitalized cases of COVID-19 was estimated to be 79% when all age groups are combined, it said.
Sinopharm is the second Chinese vaccine to receive emergency use authorization in the Philippines after Sinovac -- which is widely used in the country's COVID-19 vaccination program. Previously, the FDA only granted a "compassionate special permit" for the use of Sinopharm.
The jab is also the same Chinese vaccine used by President Rodrigo Duterte in early May and became the subject of controversy at the start of the year after members of the Presidential Security Group used Sinopharm even though it has yet to receive emergency use authorization at the time.