MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo said Sunday she would line up to get vaccinated against COVID-19 with a jab that has emergency use authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration.
President Rodrigo Duterte last week got himself inoculated with Sinopharm's vaccine candidate, which FDA only granted compassionate special permit for his close-in security detail. Duterte has since ordered the pullout of the said product out of the country after apologizing for "things that you are criticizing us for" regarding it.
"Pag hindi natin tangkilikin yung may EUA, parang walang saysay tuloy ang FDA. Kaya tayo may regulatory agencies kasi sila ang experts. Sila ang may capacity na mag-assess, may obligasyon na siguruhin ang makakapasok sa bansa ay dumaan sa rigorous na assessment," Robredo said in her weekly radio show.
(If we don't avail of vaccines with an EUA, it makes it seem the FDA has no value. We have regulatory agencies because they are the experts. They have the capacity to assess, the obligation to ensure that everything that enters the country underwent rigorous assessment.)
"Kung public official ako, nagpaturok ako, tapos pinahayag ko in public, in a way pino-promote mo yung klase ng bakunang itinurok sa'yo. Tapos kung ang pino-promote mo walang EUA, mahirap yun kasi parang mockery yun ng existing regulatory agencies natin."
(If I'm a public official and I publicized my vaccination, in a way I'm promoting the vaccine used in my inoculation. If you're promoting something without an EUA, it's like a mockery of our existing regulatory agencies.)
The FDA has granted EUA to the vaccine candidates of Pfizer-BioNTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca, Gamaleya Institute Sinovac Biotech, Johnson & Johnson, Bharat Biotech, and Moderna.
Robredo, who has comorbidity, said she is waiting to get inoculated until there is enough COVID-19 vaccine supply in the country.
"Alam ko naman na pwede na ako magpabakuna. Pero gusto ko lang siguruhin na wala akong maagawan na iba na dapat mas nauna sakin," she said.
(I know I can get vaccinated already but I wanted to ensure that I won't take away a dose meant for someone who needs it more than I do.)
The Philippines on Saturday received 2 million AstraZeneca COVID-19 shots through vaccine-sharing COVAX Facility, raising its total jab supply to more than 7.5 million doses, majority of which were from Beijing-based Sinovac Biotech.
It is set to receive at least 7 million COVID-19 doses this month, Malacañang said on Friday.
Since the country rolled out its COVID-19 vaccination program on March 1, more than 2 million shots have been administered, of which over 1.74 million were first doses and over 320,000 were second doses.