Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Tuesday thanked India after Covaxin was granted emergency use authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Locsin was reacting to reports that Covaxin, along with the United States-manufactured Janssen, were given the EUA, thus allowing the entry and use of these vaccines in the country.
“As if it’s a favor from us; the favor is to us,” the DFA secretary said in a tweet.
In a social media post on Monday, Indian Ambassador to the Philippines Shambhu Kumaran disclosed that the FDA has already given Covaxin a go signal for emergency use.
“Delighted that Covaxin has been granted EUA in the #Philippines. Congratulations #BharatBiotech! Thank you FDA Philippines,” the Indian diplomat said in a tweet.
In response, Locsin told the Indian envoy that the Philippines is instead indebted to India for saving the lives of many Filipinos and their loved ones who would now be vaccinated.
“Thank you Philippines? You have nothing to thank us for. We thank you, we owe you the lives of our loved ones who would otherwise die because of pure idiots. Thank you, India. Thank you,” the foreign secretary said in a tweet originally written in all caps.
Based on preliminary data, Covaxin showed an efficacy rate of 81 percent following large-scale clinical trials that involved over 25,000 participants.
The Indian-made shot is an inactivated virus-based vaccine that uses a killed form of SARS-CoV-2, one of the oldest and tried-and-tested methods of prompting an antibody response.
In March, Ambassador Kumaran said India would be ready to supply the Philippines at least 8 million doses of Covaxin.