The government encourages local companies to develop their own COVID-19 vaccines in the Philippines.
According to Trade Sec. Ramon Lopez, the government is already in contact with these companies.
“So sa DTI po, inumpisahan ho natin together with DOST at kasama ng ating ibang mga ahensiya, FDA, DOH, ang pakikipag-usap sa mga companies who can possibly start a commercializing and manufacturing of vaccines in the country para hindi tayo totally dependent sa pag-import ng vaccine,” Lopez said ina public briefing on Thursday.
But he said, companies need support.
This includes speeding up the processing of their documents and ensuring that the government prioritizes buying what they can produce rather than importing vaccines.
“Green lane on getting government permits. They will subscribe to all requirements and submit all the documents. Kailangan lang ma-prioritize para ho mapabilis ang proseso ng pagput up ng planta dito,” said Lopez.
“Second, of course, lahat po nang pumapasok dito may risk involved din lalo na kung papasok sila tapos ang gobyerno ay bibili rin abroad. So dito po ay ine-encourage po sana na may government procurement of locally produced vaccines, subject to standards, specs and prices.”
Duterte to support local companies interested in making COVID-19 vaccine
President Rodrigo Duterte replied that he was in favor of the conditions of these companies and that they were possible.
“Itong government procurement of locally produced subject to standard specs and prices, madali lang man ito kung trabahuin mo ito. I don’t think it would take about one hour or trabahuin mo sa opisina,” the president said.
It will be recalled that the government admitted that one of the reasons why it is difficult for the government to get COVID-19 vaccine is because we do not have the ability to produce our own vaccine, and we only depend on the supply of manufacturers abroad.
Meanwhile, AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine will continue to be given to people aged 59 and under, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
AstraZeneca vaccines have been discontinued for people aged 59 and under after it was reported abroad that those who had been vaccinated had experienced blood clots in certain parts of the body.