EUA for Covid-19 vaccines should be fast-tracked: AFP spox

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson, Marine Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, expressed hope that the government’s regulatory agencies would fast-track the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for vaccines against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

“We hope that the other agencies of the government that are in charge of the regulation will also fast-track the so-called emergency use authorization so that this will be available and there will be no more issues with regard to the administration of the vaccine because it is very essential and necessary, especially to the members of the AFP, who will be performing their duties (on) the front lines,” Arevalo said during an interview with CNN Philippines’ “The Source” on Tuesday morning.

This was after some members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) were confirmed to have been vaccinated with Sinopharm’s Covid-19 vaccine despite having no approval from the country’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

He earlier said the PSG, an AFP unit tasked to protect and secure the highest official of the land, “will have to ensure that the President is safe from all threats, including Covid-19.”

When asked whether the AFP is willing to wait for FDA approval should another Covid-19 vaccine be donated to the military, Arevalo said they are willing to follow the regulations.

“We are willing to follow and we should follow the regulations but owing to the nature of the duties and responsibilities that these military personnel perform, it is also a prioritization among the priorities,” he said. “In which case, if it becomes necessary that we perform our duties as front-liners when the vaccines are already available, hopefully, the other agencies of government that are in charge with the regulation would be the one to take the lead and make the vaccine available to the military personnel who would be facing the front lines.”

Arevalo cited the need to balance the performance of their duties against regulations to meet the interest of their principals.

“In the performance of our duties, we also have to balance the interest of our principals. We have to balance the performance of our mission as against the regulations. I was saying this particular case of the PSG is unique because of the nature of their job, the circumstances between the availability of the vaccine and their need to protect the President,” he said.

Aside from some troops of the PSG, Arevalo clarified that no other members of the AFP have been vaccinated yet for Covid-19.

Source: Philippines News agency

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