Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine under emergency use authorization (EUA)

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine under emergency use can reduce risk against COVID-19 for priority groups aged 16 and older, HTAC notes in a recent recommendation.

Understanding mRNA vaccines

Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines like the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine carry instructions for cells to make the “spike” protein unique to SARS-CoV-2. These vaccines teach the cells to make specific parts of the virus, allowing our bodies to detect these parts of the virus like it were the real virus, produce antibodies against them and fight off future infection. 

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine under EUA

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for emergency use on 14 January 2021. This emergency authorization speeds up the approval process for vaccines which normally takes years depending on how long clinical trials take. 

Based on current available data, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine can prevent symptomatic COVID-19. Compared to experience with previous (non-COVID) vaccines, health authorities worldwide have noted few reported side effects, with no serious injuries or deaths resulting from vaccination. Researchers continue to monitor the vaccine’s long-term effectiveness and safety, and its ability to reduce the number of individuals experiencing symptoms and contracting severe disease.

Similarly, more evidence needs to establish the vaccine’s value for money, and its possible implications for reducing out-of-pocket expenses. Aside from these factors, the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC) also considers potential health, economic, and social benefits in recommending COVID-19 vaccines. 

Based on existing evidence from ongoing trials, the HTAC has determined that the vaccine’s positive health impacts outweigh its short-term risks. 

As new information emerges, the Council will continue to update its recommendations and provide our policy-makers, health providers, and the Filipino public evidence-based guidance.


Read our guidance for healthcare providers:

Read the Evidence Summary: