MANILA, Aug 22 (Mabuhay) — The Food and Drug Administration has established a task force that will pave the way to make COVID-19 vaccines commercially available.

Taskforce Edward, named after British physician Dr. Edward Jenner who is known for his work on immunization, “aims to make safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines more accessible to the Filipino people,” the FDA said last week.

Having the task force will streamline the approval and evaluation of COVID-19 vaccines, it added.

The government has previously issued emergency use authorizations (EUA) to COVID-19 vaccines and drugs subject to certain conditions.

With Taskforce Edward, COVID-19 vaccines that will be approved will be given Certificate of Product Registration (CPR), the FDA said.

These vaccines will then be made available in FDA-licensed drug establishments, it added.

“Any post-market issues will be addressed through a more rigorous surveillance and pharmacovigilance,” the FDA said.

The agency added that it will create a specialized unit of experts “to further the purpose and objectives of Taskforce Edward.”

“This initiative will help the current administration to shift its focus from COVID-19 crisis management to a more robust recovery of the national economy,” the FDA said.

Zacate encouraged pharmaceutical firms to apply for the issuance of CPR or market authorization for their COVID-19 vaccines.

Only one COVID-19 vaccine with EUA has so far applied for CPR issuance, the FDA said. (MNS)