By Deighton Acuin

PHOTO: Yahoo News

National Task Force against COVID-19 Chief Implementer and Vaccine Czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said Thursday that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is eyeing to donate 500,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses of China-based Sinopharm to the Philippines.

Galvez also said the Philippines is set to receive 33 million doses from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) COVAX global vaccine sharing initiative.

However, Sinopharm has yet to apply an emergency use authorization before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

It was December last year that President Rodrigo Duterte said that some members of the Presidential Security Group have inoculated smuggled Sinopharm vaccines. After Duterte’s remark, PSG Commander Jesus Durante III made the confirmation regarding the vaccination

In February, the FDA gave a compassionate use permit for 10,000 doses allocated for the PSG members 

The country has so far received more than one million Sinovac doses, and 525,600 doses from British drugmaker AstraZeneca that are donated by the COVAX Facility.

The country also vaccinated more than 1.8 million individuals as of April 28 health department data, very far from the official target of 70 million immunized people to achieve herd immunity.