President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night got inoculated with China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine even though the jab has yet to secure emergency use authorization from the Philippines' FDA.
The 76-year-old leader's use of the Sinopharm jab was covered by the "compassionate special permit" granted by the Food and Drug Administration according to Director General Eric Domingo.
The FDA in February also granted a "compassionate special permit" for the use of Sinopharm by the Presidential Security Group after China donated doses of the vaccine to the chief executive's close-in security detail.
“Ito ‘yung hiningi ng PSG dati [ng permit] bago pa dumating ang mga bakuna dito sa Pilipinas. Mayroon silang donation from China at hiningan ito ng special permit para nga maprotektahan ang Presidente at mukhang ‘yun din po ang ginamit sa ating Pangulo kagabi,” Domingo told DZBB in an interview Tuesday.
"Mukhang ito po yung doses na hiningan nila ng compassionate special permit," he added.
A compassionate special permit means the drug can be used while an emergency use authorization is pending.
Aside from President Duterte, partners of PSG members are also covered by the special permit, Domingo said.
Asked about the chances of making Sinopharm available to the Filipino public, Domingo said the FDA was waiting for the jab's requirements so that it could be evaluated for emergency use authorization in the Philippines.
Sinopharm in December said phase three trials of its COVID-19 vaccine showed that it was 79% effective.