PH looking to finalize vaccine supply deal with Sinovac this week
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine authorities are looking to finalize negotiations with Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac Biotech this week for a possible supply agreement of its coronavirus vaccine in the country.
COVID-19 policy chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr. said their meeting with Sinovac representatives last Friday was “very substantial.” He said that he has conveyed the country’s need for 25 million doses of Sinovac vaccines for 2021.
“We want to finalize this week [the] negotiations so that we can firm up the head of terms and also we are looking at the exact time of the distribution,” Galvez said in a televised press briefing Monday.
The Chinese firm vowed to supply vaccines here by April 2021 but Galvez said they are negotiating to have it by March.
Sinovac is currently seeking the approval of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct Phase 3 clinical trials here after passing the initial evaluation of the country’s vaccine experts panel.
Galvez earlier said Sinovac’s vaccine may be the first to be rolled out in the country.
However, bribery claims are putting serious questions into the efficacy and safety of Sinovac’s vaccine after US newspaper Washington Post reported that the firm had been found to have a record of bribing Chinese drug regulators to secure vaccine approvals.
But Malacañang is unfazed by the controversy, saying that it trusts the regulatory process of the country’s FDA to ensure that the vaccine is safe for use.
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