The COVID-19 candidate vaccine of British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca would still undergo the country’s regulatory process before it can be used in the Philippines, the Department of Health (DOH) said.
On Nov. 27, the government and private companies signed a supply agreement with AstraZeneca involving at least three million doses of its vaccine.
DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the deal with the British firm is an “advance commitment.”
“It’s just like they are having this advance commitment para makasigurado na merong allocation na ganito kadami (to make sure there is an allocation of this quantity),” she said.
“Ito ay mga negosasyon palang na ginagawa sa ngayon. If the private sector…. para bang nagkaroon na sila ng paunang mga agreements with these companies, hindi naman po iyan mangyayari hanggang hindi nakakapasa po ang mga bakunang iyan dito sa regulatory process natin,” she said.
(These are just negotiations that are being done right now. If the
private sector had initial agreements with these companies, it would not push through if these vaccines will not pass our regulatory process.)
Vergeire said that any candidate vaccine that will enter the Philippines should undergo the evaluation of health authorities such as the country’s vaccine experts panel and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“There is regulatory oversight. Ang gobyerno natin hindi papayagan na makapasok sa ating merkado kung wala pang rehistro o authority from FDA kasi hindi natin masisiguro kung ito ay ligtas o epektibo [Our government has a regulatory oversight [panel],” she said.
(These vaccines will not be allowed to enter our market without registration or authorization from the FDA because we cannot be sure if they are safe or effective.)