The Philippines' Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted the emergency authorization for the use of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19, FDA Director-General Enrique Domingo said on Friday.
"The known and potential benefits of the Gamaleya Sputnik V vaccine, when used to prevent COVID-19, outweigh the known and potential risks of the said vaccine as of date," Domingo said in an online media briefing.
Domingo said the Russian-made vaccine could be administered to "clinically healthy individuals aged 18 years and older."
Russia's vaccine is the fourth vaccine given green light by the FDA for emergency use in the Southeast Asian country, after the Pfizer-BioNTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca and Sinovac vaccines.
An emergency authorization allows the use of a vaccine still being developed during public health emergencies.
The FDA clarifies that emergency authorization is not a marketing authorization or a certificate of product registration to sell the vaccine commercially.
The Philippine government aims to inoculate up to 70 million Filipinos this year, starting with health care workers, the elderly, and the poor communities.
The Philippines has so far reported 640,984 confirmed cases of COVID-19 including 12,887 deaths.