Philippines remains confident it will have access to vaccines
MANILA – Against a backdrop of reports rich countries have already pre-ordered vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque and IATF Chief Implementer and Vaccine Czar Secretary Carlito Galvez expressed confidence the country will have its own share of the needed vaccines.
Speaking at the midday press briefing in Malacañang, Secretary Roque said the country has access to the widely publicized COVAX Facility which assures equitable access to the vaccine.
“President Duterte approved the other day five steps to pursue the purchase of vaccines with the signing of a confidentiality data agreement, negotiations and signing of the advance market commitments, registration with the FDA through the emergency use authority, the advance payment based on negotiated terms and mobilization and delivery,” he said.
Acknowledged as the country’s vaccine czar, Secretary Carlito G. Galvez, Jr., currently the Chief Implementer of the National Police Against COVID-19 said they are in talks with a number of vaccine companies and underscored the good relations the Philippines has with countries like China, the United Kingdom, Singapore.
“We will also talk with Australia. These companies have allocated vaccines for us. Most of them can have quotas from 15 to 50 million,” he said. He explained if the Philippines targets to immunize 25 million Filipinos, we can make it because of our good relations with China and the United States.
“American companies have already approached us (at the IATF) and they are more than willing to allocate bigger quota for the Philippines,” he added. COVAX can extend vaccines from pooled financing and the country may avail social financing which would make the vaccines very affordable and equitable for poor countries like the Philippines.
“Don’t worry because the President has assured the Filipino people will have access to the vaccine. We are doing what we could as our diplomats are engaged in exploratory talks with vaccine experts,” he further said. (Melo M. Acuña)
Engagements with Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque and Chief Implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez on the Philippines' access to vaccines. (Screen grabs from PTV4)