Emergency use of J&J and Bharat vaccines approved


The Philippines’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has allowed the emergency use of Covid-19 vaccines made by Johnson & Johnson and India’s Bharat Biotech, it said.

Both vaccines can be administered to people aged 18 and above in the Philippines, the agency chief, Rolando Enrique Domingo, said.

The single-shot coronavirus vaccines developed by J&J’s unit Janssen and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin are the fifth and sixth to receive emergency use approval in the Philippines, which is battling one of the worst outbreaks in Asia.

J&J is conducting late-stage clinical trials for its Covid-19 vaccine in the Philippines.

The country will also begin clinical trial of several drugs, including the anti-parasite medication ivermectin, in patients with Covid-19 to determine their efficacy in combating the coronavirus, a senior government official said.

Some politicians in the country have started promoting the use of ivermectin for coronavirus and given out free doses, although the country’s food and drugs regulator has cautioned against the use because of a lack of evidence for the drug as a treatment.

The clinical trial for ivermectin, which could last for six months, “will give us a more reliable estimate of the effects of ivermectin as an anti-viral agent in mild and moderate (Covid-19) patients, ” science and technology minister, Fortunato Dela Pena, said. — Reuters

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