FDA: Duterte order to clear COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use justified
MANILA - The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday defended President Rodrigo Duterte's executive order to clear COVID-19 drugs and vaccine for emergency use as the pandemic continues to rage on.
FDA director general Eric Domingo said in an interview with ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo that even though the authorization looked hasty, there was reason to believe the drug or vaccine may be effective in preventing, diagnosing or treating COVID-19.
"Medyo minadali talaga. Kasi, ibig sabihin kahit ongoing pa ang clinical trials, pero 'yung preliminary results show na maganda naman siya at magagamit natin siya panglaban sa COVID, kapag nakita natin na safe naman at 'yung resulta mukhang epektib naman, maaari na nating siyang bigyan ng emergency use authority," he said.
(It was really a bit rushed, wasn't it? Even if vaccine clinical trials are ongoing, but preliminary tests show good results and that we can use it against COVID, if we see that it's safe and the results are effective, we can give it an emergency use authorization.)
Domingo said his office will allow COVID-19 vaccine brands that have shown 60 percent efficacy or greater.
Drugmakers Moderna, Pfizer, and AstraZeneca earlier said their vaccines have showed efficacy way above that threshold.
"[Huwag] kung ang choice naman e hayaan pa natin kumalat at dumami ang COVID. Ang ebidensiya naman nagpapakita na magagamit na natin siya," Domingo said.
(Don't use it if our choice is to let COVID-19 multiply and spread, but evidence shows that we can use them now.)