Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine available soon in local drugstores — Palace

Published August 24, 2021, 1:23 PM

by Raymund Antonio

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said on Tuesday, August 24, that Pfizer’s vaccine, which has the highest efficacy rate of all COVID-19 vaccines in the market, will soon be available in local drugstores after it received full approval from the United States’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

This file photo taken on November 17, 2020 shows vials with COVID-19 vaccine stickers attached, with the logo of US pharmaceutical company Pfizer. (AFP/ MANILA BULLETIN)

During a virtual press briefing, the Palace official noted that Pfizer’s COVID-19 was also the first vaccine to receive the emergency use authorization from the US FDA.

“Well, magiging commercially available na po ang Pfizer. Kaya konting panahon na lang po at mabibili na sa ating mga botika ang Pfizer kung ito po ang inyong (Pfizer will become commercially available. That’s why in a little time we can already buy in our drugstores the Pfizer vaccine if that is your) preferred brand,” Roque said.

The US FDA on Monday night (Manila time) granted full approval to Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 shot, clearing the path for more vaccine mandates there and abroad. The White House believes that this will persuade unvaccinated people in the country to get their jabs.

READ: US grants Pfizer Covid vaccine full approval

In a survey, three out of 10 unvaccinated individuals said they are willing to get their COVID jabs as long as the vaccine received full approval from the FDA.

Roque said that Pfizer-BioNTech still has to be granted with commercial use approval by the Philippine FDA, but he believes this will be a non-issue.

“Dahil meron tayong polisiya ng Philippine FDA ay mas mabilis naaaprubahan for commercial use ang mga bakuna’t gamot na meron ng approval sa mga stringent na FDAs gaya po ng Estados Unidos (Because the Philippine FDA has a policy to quickly approve the commercial use of vaccines and medicines that has approval from stringent FDAs like the United States),” he explained.

Pfizer has a reported 95 percent efficacy rate, a higher rate compared to the other vaccine brands used by the Philippines such as China’s Sinovac and the United Kingdom’s AstraZeneca.

READ: Pfizer still needs to apply for full authorization in PH — FDA

Filipinos’ preference for the Pfizer vaccine was the basis of President Duterte’s earlier order to local government units (LGU) not to announce the vaccine brand in various vaccination sites in the country.

The Philippines has largely procured China’s Sinovac owing to the President’s friendly relations with China, as well as the lack of available supply of Western brands.

Roque also revealed that there will be some 362,700 doses of Pfizer procured by the government that will arrive in the country on Wednesday, August 25.

This is part of the five million COVID-19 vaccine doses expected to arrive in the Philippines this week.