MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte will still get his second dose of COVID-9 vaccine developed by Chinese drug-maker Sinopharm despite his request for China to take back the donated doses, Malacañang said Thursday.
“Siyempre po, di ibabalik yung second dose ng presidente, para matapos niya yung second dose niya,” Presidential Harry Roque said in a Palace briefing.
In a pre-taped Cabinet briefing on Wednesday night, Duterte defended his decision to be inoculated with a COVID-19 vaccine that has yet to undergo further evaluation and secure an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the local Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Duterte also stressed that his vaccination was legal as the Sinopharm vaccine dose he used was covered by the compassionate special permit (CSP) issued by the FDA.
He apologized for using a vaccine that has not been vetted by Philippine authorities then said that he had asked China to withdraw the donated Sinopharm doses.
“Ako mismo ang nagpaturok. It is the decision of my doctor. Anyway, it’s my life,” he said.
“Just before this meeting started, I had a talk with the ambassador. Sabi ko sa kanya, ang mga experts nagsabi, ‘Wala pa ito, hindi dumaan sa examination sa atin.’ Ang ibinigay ay compassionate use […] Ibig sabihin magamit mo compassionate,” he added.
Roque earlier said that the vaccine dose used on Duterte was covered by the PSG’s compassionate use permit for 10,000 Sinopharm vaccine doses.
The FDA earlier said that Sinopharm’s application for EUA remains pending as firms that have filed for its emergency use in the Philippines have yet to submit requirements.
“Ang problema po kasi sa Sinopharm, it is a state-owned corporation, hindi gaya ng Sinovac na isang private corporation kaya natatagalan ang proseso. Kasi kailangang magtalaga ng representante ang Sinopharm kung sino talaga ang maghahain ng mga papeles dito sa Pilipinas o sa FDA. Wala naman po itong prejudice to Sinopharm appointing an agent and complying with all the requirements of the FDA,” Roque said.
“Panatag naman po ang loob natin na maaaprubahan din ang EUA ng Sinopharm dahil Sinopharm is in use po in 25 25 countries worldwide at nakakuha na rin siya ng EUA in 25 other countries,” he added.