President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the placing of advanced orders for a coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine, which will also entail the placing of an advance payment based on negotiated terms.
“We have already agreed to release an advance payment so we won’t be left behind by the countries who will get hold of the vaccine. Before, the President doesn’t like it but he agreed when he saw the list of the countries who have paid in advance, for as long a as we have the funds,” Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque said in Filipino in a virtual briefing on Thursday.
The government has to undergo the five major steps in entering the advance market commitments such as: signing of a confidentiality data agreement; negotiations and signing of the advance market commitments; registration with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) through the emergency use authority (EUA); advance payment based on the negotiated terms; and mobilization and delivery.
The China National Medical Product Administration (NMPA) has already issued two EUA, which means they are already using the vaccine for a limited time among high risk population while the United States is expected to issue the same this December, Roque said.
For the Philippines, using the vaccination should require the President’s signed Executive Order for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue the EUA, which will speed up the process of applying the vaccine, carrying the same approval authorization of the FDAs of countries that developed the vaccine.
“Before a vaccine is administered here in the Philippines though already approved by US FDA or Chinese FDA, it has to undergo a six-month screening but once the Executive Order was signed, after 21 days, we can already use it here in the Philippines. So, the two vaccines of China, Sinopharm and Sinovac, anytime, they can be signed by Chinese FDA. All we need [is to wait for] 20 days and we can already implement vaccination in the Philippines,”Roque said in Filipino.
Various countries as of August have placed orders for nearly 6 billion doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.As of the latest, the European Union has placed an advanced order for 200 million for a Covid-19 vaccine that is being tested by Pfizer and BioNTech, while the United Kingdom has ordered 5 million doses of Moderna’s own vaccine. JONATHAN ARACELI FOR SOVEREIGNPH