MANILA, Philippines — The emergency use authorization (EUA) issued last week by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to drug-maker Pfizer-BioNTech for its COVID-19 vaccine will not be revoked yet pending an investigation into claims that it caused the death of some elderly people in Norway, the Department of Health (DOH) said Monday.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Norwegian authorities are still looking into reports that 23 individuals aged 75 to 80 with underlying health conditions died after getting inoculated with COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech.
Vergeire also said that studies need to be done on the matter.
“Pfizer has to submit a report to the Philippine Food And Drug Administration regarding this matter. Once we evaluate the report, base sa kanilang conclusion, that’s the time FDA can decide on the EUA of Pfizer. For now,” Vergeire said.
“Hanggang wala pang sufficient evidence that it was caused by vaccines, status quo tayo on this EUA given to Pfizer,” she added.
The FDA granted EUA to Pfizer last January 14, the first out of four applications it received so far. Other applications are AstraZeneca, China’s Sinovac, and Russia’s Gamaleya Institute.
FDA Director-General Eric Domingo said they are still awaiting a report from Norwegian authorities and that they will “revise the conditions of the EUA as needed,” before starting vaccinations as part of the agency’s protocols on the use of vaccines.
Health authorities also reiterated that COVID-19 vaccines will go through stringent evaluation before it can be approved for use in the country.
“Aside from the safety, and the efficacy na meron ang mga bakuna na papasok, titingnan din nila iyon pong social impact nito, titingnan nila ang affordability and titingnan nila sa response ng equity,” Vergeire said.
“They will be evaluating and then they give their recommendation to the Secretary. Kapag positive ang recommendation, we can procure the specific vaccine,” she added. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Aiko Miguel)
MANILA, Philippines – The oral arguments on the controversial anti-terrorism law have been moved to February 2, the Supreme Court announced Friday.
This is after staffers of Solicitor General Jose Calida tested positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“Considering the meritorious request of Solicitor General Jose Calida that his Assistant Solicitor General and some staff who will attend the oral arguments have been tested positive for COVID-19, you are hereby informed, per instruction of the Honorable Supreme Court, that the oral arguments is reset to February 2, 2021 at 2:30 p.m.,” the Clerk of Court said in a statement.
“No further postponement will be allowed,” it added.
The high court originally scheduled the oral arguments on January 19.
MANILA, Philippines – The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) has opened the applications for chief justice following the Supreme Court en banc’s approval of the early retirement of Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta.
In an announcement, the JBC said the applicants may submit their applications and other documentary requirements on February 15.
Applicants must visit the JBC website and access the online application scheduler from 8 a.m. to 12 midnight not later than the said date, it added.
The JBC said Peralta’s optional retirement was approved by the magistrates on January 5 during their first en banc session this year. He will step down from office when he turns 69 on March 27, one year ahead of the mandatory retirement age for judges and justices.
The SC in December confirmed that Peralta opted for early retirement but did not disclose the reason.
Peralta was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte as SC chief justice in 2019.
When he retires, the five most senior magistrates in the high court will be automatically nominated for the post, subject to their confirmation. They are Justices Estela Perlas Bernabe, Marvic Leonen, Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa, Alexander Gesmundo, and Ramon Hernando.
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