Sun. May 16th, 2021
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Health Secretary Franciso Duque 3rd denied that Pfizer promised or committed to provide the Philippine government with 10 million doses of its vaccine for the coronavirus disease 2019, disputing the claims of Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin and Senator Panfilo Lacson.

“No, walang ganoon (there was nothing like that). It was all indicative numbers. There was no definitive supply. I think if you will get a chance to talk to Sec. Galvez, he would tell you there is a problem in the production of these vaccines as we are talking because meron daw problem sa kanilang (because there is a problem in their) raw materials,” he said in a television interview. Duque was referring to National Policy Against Covid-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez.

“Besides, there was nothing binding. Nothing in our talks. So this was all open-ended, exploratory, and it was really meant to just get the data from Pfizer to know more about the safety profile of the vaccine, efficacy, result of the clinical phase 1 and 2 trials because at that time they are still not done with their clinical trials phase 3,” he added.

Lacson said on Wednesday that Duque derailed a possible early deal with Pfizer for the supply of Covid-19 vaccines by not submitting on time the Confidentiality Disclosure Agreement (CDA) for the deal.

Lacson said that as early as July this year, Locsin started talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for the purchase of Covid vaccines from Pfizer. It was Ambassador to the US Jose Romualdez that arranged the talks between Locsin and Pompeo. He added this would have resulted in the Philippines getting vaccines from Pfizer as early as January next year.

Locsin also tweeted about the botched deal with Pfizer.  “That said, my thanks just the same to US Sec of State Mike Pompeo we—Babe Romualdez and I—got 10 million doses of Pfizer financed by [the] World Bank and ADB (Asian Development Bank) to be shipped thru FEDEX to Clark in January. BUT SOMEBODY DROPPED THE BALL. I have steel ball bearings. I just need a slingshot,” Locsin said in a tweet on Tuesday. SOVEREIGNPH

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