The COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer has been authorized for emergency use in the Philippines, the Food and Drug Administration said Thursday, raising hopes that the country could soon start its own immunization program.
The vaccine, developed with Germany's BioNTech is the first to secure emergency use authorization in the Philippines. Director General Eric Domingo of the FDA announced the certification nearly three weeks since the U.S. drugmaker applied for it.
"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," Domingo said.
Granting an EUA to a vaccine would expedite its availability to the people who need it the most. In the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Philippine government is rushing to make vaccines available to the most vulnerable to the virus: medical frontliners, and the elderly.
Pfizer earlier said a completed study of their experimental COVID-19 vaccine showed it was 95% effective.