Senators urge FDA to simplify process for donated vaccines

Some senators called on the Food and Drug Administration () to simplify the process for COVID-19 vaccine donations in the Philippines.

Senator Francis Tolentino asked that for example, an association of Filipinos in the US could make a tax-free donation of vaccines that already obtained emergency use authorization there to a Cavite municipality.

“Kapag po kasi dumating siya sa Customs, kapag gamot siya, hahanapan po siya ng Customs ng clearance kung may EUA siya. ‘Di siya papasukin dito kung wala,” FDA Director General Eric Domingo said.

“Ang mangyayari po kapag ganoon, ire-refer po sa Department of Health, ‘yung Bureau of International Health Cooperation, tapos ang Department of Health po ang maaaring tumanggap ng donation para doon sa LGU and the DOH will then apply for a permit from the FDA, for an emergency use,” he added.

“Kahit ‘di siya commercial, kung medyo marami po iyan, talaga pong hihingan ng clearance ng Customs.”

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Senators urge FDA to simplify process for donated vaccines

Meanwhile, Senator Lacson clarified if the EUA regulators abroad would be enough, but Domingo said the vaccine should also get a EUA from the FDA in the Philippines.

“Sa atin po, hindi siya automatic. We take into consideration the EUA… ang dagdag lang na hinihingi natin an requirements ay may country-specific po sila na risk management plan… kailangan po ma-prove niya na stable din pag nakarating dito sa Pilipinas ‘yung produkto,” Domingo said.

Lacson added the government should make the process easier for donors and recipients.

“Kung ganoon ang situation magdo-double handling tayo kasi dadaan tayo sa logistical requirements ng DOH, ng NTF tas ita-transport na naman papunta sa LGU na pwede namang directly napunta ‘yung donation,” he said.

Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. assured the government would make the necessary adjustments to simplify the process.

“We will make the simplest flowchart considering also that we will have a supply agreement with manufacturers. Just in case we already have that kind of document, we can simplify and submit it to you,” he said.