Thu. Dec 3rd, 2020
(Photo Courtesy: http://www.bangkokpost.com)

The Philippines could receive an initial supply of American-made vaccines against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) by early 2021 once talks are finalized and a contract has been signed, Philippine Ambassador to Washington D.C. Jose Manuel Romualdez said.

“The demand is very high at least for the first tranches of this supply but they’re very confident that they can supply us if we order now,” he said in a pre-recorded interview with Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque during his Malacañang media briefing earlier on Monday.

Manila is in talks with various US pharmaceutical firms developing an effective vaccine against Covid-19, but the first company to approach the country was Pfizer, said Romualdez.

Pfizer’s candidate vaccine is at least 90-percent effective as shown in the company’s early data. With this, the envoy said the company is on track to get approval from US authorities ahead of other US manufacturers.

“It will be sold to many of their (US) allies, specifically in the Philippines,” he said, adding it would cost around $5 per shot.

Aside from Pfizer, Moderna is also ready to supply the Philippines once its candidate vaccine is successfully tested.

To recall, President Rodrigo Duterte earlier called out Western pharmaceutical firms who supposedly asked for “cash advance” for their candidate vaccines.

But Romualdez said the US-based firms in Manila he is in contact with do not require any reservation fee, adding they only need the country to determine the number of doses it would purchase so as to secure the quantity once production starts.

Meanwhile, Romualdez said the business sector in Manila intends to help fund the vaccines if the government needs assistance. SOVEREIGNPH

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