Health Undersecretary Rosario Vergeire said Friday the Philippines had not finalized the number of COVID-19 vaccine that would be given to Filipinos.
The government earlier allocated funds for the country’s participation in the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX). The global facility would ensure participating countries would have equal access to the coronavirus vaccines.
According to the World Health Organization, more than 150 countries also joined in COVAX.
Vergeire explained that while the government is involved with COVAX, the details of the allocation of COVID-19 vaccines per country are not yet available.
“May kausap na po tayo, itong COVAX facility, meron na tayong engagement with them. Ang negotiations po diyan, basta pumasok ka diyan, may kailangan rin na contribution, but definitely bawat country will be assured na 20% of their population ay mabibigyan [ng vaccine],” Vergeire said.
(We are already talking with them, this COVAX facility, we already have an engagement with them. The negotiations there is when you join there, there is also a necessary contribution, but every country will be assured that 20% of their population will be given the vaccine.)
“Wala pang final agreement, but we are trying very hard na makapasok tayo because that would benefit the country,” she added.
The DOH official said that the Philippines is also in talks with three other pharmaceutical companies from China and one from Chinese Taipei regarding the anti-COVID-19 vaccine.
“Mayroon rin silang mga ino-offer sa atin (they are also offering vaccines to us),” she said.
Vaccines from China or the United Stated needed their country’s regulatory authorities’ approval to ensure their effectiveness and safety, Vergeire added.
“May advantage iyong recognized na ng regulatory authorities ng US at China. Pag pumasok sila rito, mas madali na ang proseso. Pero dahil bagong pasok sila, kailangan pa ring dumaan sa regulatory process natin to ensure ito ay safe at effective sa ating mga kababayan,” Vergeire said.
(Those recognized by the US and Chinese regulatory authorities have an advantage. Once they get in here, the process is much easier. But since they are newcomers, they still have to go through our regulatory process to ensure it is safe and effective for our countrymen.)