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  • Writer's pictureMelo Acuna

Vaccines need to adhere to strict standards

Government prepared to purchase vaccines

MANILA – Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr., the acknowledged “Vaccine Czar,” said vaccines from Western countries may reach the Philippines by May 2021.

“We are already 85 percent of the contract, or 20 million for the government and 10 million for the private sector,” Secretary Galvez said in an emergency meeting called by President Rodrigo Duterte early Saturday night at Malacañang Palace.

He explained the Philippines will sign contracts with another US-based and India-based vaccine manufacturer by next month.

“The Philippines will also sign with Pfizer and Moderna and we have an initial arrangement for 20 million doses,” he said. With all the arrangements being made, the Philippines may have more or less 80 million doses if the government decides to acquire vaccines from Noravax, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna.

Secretary Galvez added last Christmas Eve, they also negotiated with Gamaleya of Russia for another 25 million doses.

Regarding Gamaleya’s efficacy, Secretary Galvez, a retired military general, said it has 91.5 percent for the first dose and 95 percent for the second dose. A contract is expected to be signed with the Russian vaccine manufacturer next month.

Secretary Galvez said they are still negotiating with SinoVac Hong Kong.

“Basically, ang mauuna Sir is AstraZeneca ‘yung magiging contract natin. Next is ang Noravax from Serum of India; next is Pfizer, and then may be Johnson & Johnson,” the NAP chief implementer added.

During the same meeting, Secretary Galvez said seven contracts will be signed soon.

He explained the government will adhere to ADB and World Bank standards and that only vaccines accredited by the World Health Organization (WHO) will be allowed in the Philippines

“Stringent regulations (on the COVID-19 vaccines) from the United States of America, United Kingdom and other stringent countries will also be considered. We would like to announce to the public the vaccines we will choose is very safe and very effective considering they follow our stringent procedures and follow the requirements from our fund manager, procurement agent which is the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank (WB) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB),” he further said. (Melo M. Acuña)

Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. (Screen grab from President Duterte's meeting with IATF and Medical Experts December 26,2020/PTV-4 - RTVM)

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