EO for emergency use of COVID-19 vaccines ‘in process’ – Galvez

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said Wednesday that an executive order to authorize the of COVID-19 vaccines is already “in process.”

Galvez responded to queries if the deal among the government, the private sector, and AstraZeneca would be canceled if the potential COVID-19 does not get Food and Drug Administration’s approval.

“It is in our law that we cannot buy certain products that [don’t] have any FDA approval. Based on our report and recommendation to the President, we can use the emergency utilization authority which will be given by the President, authorization by the President through an …” Galvez said at Kapihan sa Manila Bay’s virtual forum.

“I believe last Monday we have discussed this, and I believe this is already in process considering that the only difference in the EUA, from six months of deliberation, the deliberation will be shortened more or less 21 days to 30 days…” he added.

“The only thing that has been changed on the process is that some bureaucratic delays have been removed. The process itself is the same,” Galvez said.

Duque emphasized that the agreement among the government, private sector, and AstraZeneca requires the potential vaccine to undergo FDA and vaccine experts evaluation.

“Mahihirapan pong makalusot ‘yan kung meron pong makikita sila na hindi magandang resulta at puwedeng makaapekto po sa tinatawag natin na pagiging ligtas, dekalidad at epektibo ang bakuna,” Duque said at the Laging Handa briefing.

Asked whether the deal will be voided if AstraZeneca’s vaccine fails to meet FDA standards, Duque said: “Posible ‘yan, syempre dahil ibig sabihin may violation ng agreement.”

AstraZeneca said its was 70% effective in crucial trials and could be up to 90% effective.

The drugmaker also said that it would manufacture as many as 200 million doses by the end of 2020. The number was 400 times higher than U.S. competitor Pfizer Inc. AstraZeneca said 700 million doses could be available worldwide by the end of the first quarter of 2021.