PH envoy says US COVID-19 vaccines likely available by Q1 of 2021
MANILA, Philippines — COVID-19 vaccines manufactured by US drug makers like Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson&Johnson may possibly become available for procurement within the first quarter of 2021.
In a televised press briefing Tuesday, Philippine Ambassador to US Jose Manuel Romualdez said the supply of vaccines will come in tranches, keeping in mind that demand is “really high.”
“Sa tingin ko by early next year to first quarter, magkakaroon na tayo, by tranches ‘yan,” he said when asked about the timetable of procurement of COVID-19 vaccine.
“Alam naman natin na maraming countries were affected by this virus so the demand is really high at least for the first tranche of this supply,” he added.
US drug makers, despite the high demand, are confident that it would be able to supply vaccines to the Philippines, the ambassador said.
“Maganda ang pag-asa na ‘yung vaccine na kukunin galing dito sa pharmaceutical companies ay masu-supply sa ‘tin,” he noted.
Pfizer announced Monday that its candidate vaccine was 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 infections in ongoing Phase 3 trials.
According to Romualdez, the vaccine will be sold in the country at $5 per shot if the Philippines approves it.
Romualdez further said that the US Food and Drug Administration is seen to approve Johnson&Johnson’s potential COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the year.
“Siyempre kailangan natin masigurado na ‘yung mga vaccine na approved na dito sa America, kailangan din ay approved din dito sa atin,” he pointed out.
Moreover, Romualdez said the US drugmakers are also not seeking a downpayment for the procurement of vaccines and only require a contract with the Philippine government. “Wala silang hinihingi na downpayment. Kailangan lang ng kontrata, purchase order lang.”
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