Sinopharm, another COVID-19 vaccine from China, has been granted emergency use authorization in the Philippines, the Food and Drug Administration announced Monday night.

According to FDA Chief Eric Domingo, they already issued the anti-coronavirus jab’s EUA to the Department of Health (DOH).

“Today, we already granted an emergency use authorization to DOH to accept the donations of Sinopharm,” Domingo shared during a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte.

Domingo noted that it was DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III who submitted the EUA application for Sinopharm in order to accept donations of the said vaccine from China. However, the exact number of doses that will be donated wasn’t announced.

Before receiving an EU from the FDA, Sinopharm – earlier in May – was granted an EUA by the World Health Organization (WHO).

With the approval of Sinopharm’s EUA, the number of vaccines that can be used in the Philippines has risen to eight. It now joins AstraZeneca, CoronaVac, Sputnik V, Pfizer, Covaxin, Moderna, and Janssen.

At present, the national government has inoculated 5,965,651 Filipinos from COVID-19- 1,544,332 of this population have received full doses of the anti-coronavirus shot.

The country’s vaccine rollout has also expanded to include the A4 priority group yesterday (June 7), which consists of essential workers.

The implementation of the rollout will be divided into two phases with the first targeting workers in the NCR+8 regions (Metro Manila, Cavite, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, Pampanga, Metro Cebu, and Metro Davao).

The second phase will focus on regions outside of the NCR+8.

Those eligible are : 

  • A4.1 – private-sector workers who work outside their homes
  • A4.2 – employees in government agencies and instrumentalities, including government-owned or controlled corporations and local government units
  • A4.3 – informal sector workers and self-employed who work outside their homes and those working in private households

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Image credit: Xinhua via Getty Images