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  • Writer's pictureMelo Acuna

Philippine prepares to buy Anti-COVID-19 vaccines

Negotiations for 25 million Sinovac doses to be finished this week

MANILA – The negotiations between the Philippines and Sinovac Biotech will be over on a few days.

Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. said a “very substantial meeting” took place last Friday with Sinovac officials.

Speaking at the regular Malacañang Press Briefing hosted by Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, General Galvez said the Philippines needs at least 25 million doses from Sinovac’s vaccine next year.

“We want to finalize this week, our final negotiations, so that we can firm up the head of terms and also we are looking at the exact time of distribution,” he explained.

At the same briefing, Philippine Ambassador to China Jose Santiago Sta. Romana said finalizing the agreement with the Chinese pharma company is imperative because “we’re not the only priority country.”

He added China has priority countries from Southeast Asia, Middle East, Africa and Latin America.

The long-time Beijing resident prior to his appointment to the Philippine Embassy in Beijing, Ambassador Sta. Romana said China launched an emergency use program for COVID-19 vaccine in July this year and aimed at essential workers and others considered at high risk of infection.

“It has vaccinated about one million people as of mid-November using at least three shots, two developed by the state-backed China National Biotec Group (CNBG) and one by Sinovac Biotech,” Ambassador Sta. Romana said.

Sinovac said recently that mid-stage trial results should its CoronaVac shot triggered a quick immune response and interim data from the late state trial could come this year. (Melo M. Acuña)

Anti-COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. (left photo) and Philippine Ambassador to China Jose Santiago Sta. Romana (right). (Photos screen grabbed from Presidential Spokesperson's Harry Roque midday greetings.)

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