FDA says Moderna may apply for emergency use next week, checks reported shipment

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 12 2021 03:17 PM | Updated as of Feb 12 2021 03:22 PM

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MANILA — American company Moderna might apply for emergency use authorization (EUA) for its COVID-19 vaccines next week but their supply won’t be available in the Philippines until the middle of this year, the Food and Drug Administration said Friday.

This, following unverified reports that a shipment of Moderna vaccines have arrived in the country.

“I am having that report checked because there is a very big possibility na kung mayroon mang dumating tapos nakalagay Moderna vaccine (if there is any that arrived bearing the name of Moderna) then it’s probably counterfeit,” FDA Director General Eric Domingo said during a video call with reporters. 

Domingo said the FDA’s regulatory enforcement unit has not alerted him of any vaccine shipment that arrived from Moderna.

“And I am sure na walang actual Moderna vaccines. We just had a meeting with Moderna last Tuesday at plan pa lang nila mag-apply ng EUA hopefully by next week dito sa Pilipinas. At wala pa rin silang maisu-supply until June or July of this year,” he said.

(And I am sure there are no actual Moderna vaccines. We just had a meeting with Moderna last Tuesday and they plan to apply for EUA in the Philippines hopefully by next week. And they won’t be able to supply us until June or July this year.)

Last month, the Philippines signed a deal with Moderna for 20 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine.

The Philippines was supposed to receive its first batch of vaccines from the COVAX Facility over the weekend but delays might have pushed back the start of the scheduled vaccination of health workers.

The Philippines has lagged behind some of its Southeast Asian neighbors in the rollout of vaccines against the coronavirus.