COVID-19 vaccines may be commercially available by Q1 of 2022 — FDA

FILE PHOTO: Vials with Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine labels are seen in this illustration picture taken March 19, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

MANILA, Philippines — COVID-19 vaccines may become commercially available in the country by the first quarter of 2022, the chief of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Thursday.

“Yes, that is possible,” FDA Director-General Eric Domingo told in a text message when asked to confirm reports that the vaccines may be commercially available by the first quarter of next year.


Domingo’s statement comes after the


granted full approval for use in people over the age of 16 of the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by


. The vaccine has been authorized only for emergency use in the US since December and in the Philippines since January.

On Wednesday, Domingo said the FDA is anticipating that Pfizer would soon submit an application seeking approval of its COVID-19 vaccine for market release in the Philippines. He explained that once the FDA approves Pfizer’s application, the company will be able to market its products locally,


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The Philippines has so far administered over

30 million COVID-19 vaccine doses

since the inoculation program started in March, according to vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. on Monday. He said 17.4 million doses were provided as first jabs. Meanwhile, over 13 million Filipinos are now fully vaccinated against the disease.


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