Did they ‘drop the ball’ on Pfizer deal because of Sinovac vaccine? | Inquirer News

Did they ‘drop the ball’ on Pfizer deal because of Sinovac vaccine?

By: - Reporter / @ConsINQ
/ 08:12 PM December 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — After Health Secretary Francisco Duque III reportedly dropped the ball on the Pfizer vaccine deal, Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Thursday questioned if China’s Sinovac Biotech vaccine is being favored.

“Could that be the reason why someone ‘dropped the ball’? Somebody wants the ‘pwede na’ (acceptable) vaccine? I’ll ask @teddyboylocsin n @iampinglacson,” said Sotto in a tweet.

Sotto was reacting to former Senator JV Ejericto’s post, which raised concern over the government’s acceptance of Sinovac, which had 50 percent efficacy.


This percentage is lower than Pfizer and British drugmaker AstraZeneca with 90 percent and 75 percent efficacy, respectively.

“Talagang sanay na ba tayong Pinoy sa ‘pwede na?’ [Are Filipinos really contented with that-will-do attitude?) Sinovac has 50% efficacy as compared to Pfizer and Astra[Zeneca], which has 90% and 75% efficacy,” Ejercito said.

“Our agencies are the ones justifying that 50% efficacy is acceptable.  Pwede na daw. (That’s okay) That’s why we are [a] third world,” he further said.

Earlier, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said the Sinovac vaccine’s 50 percent efficacy rate is already “acceptable” because it passed the World Health Organization’s minimum requirement.

DOST added that the vaccine’s efficacy might be higher “if we actually break them down into groups.”

It was Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. who first revealed that someone dropped the ball on a chance to secure a vaccine agreement with Pfizer.

Duque has since denied this allegation, noting that negotiations with the US vaccine firm were still ongoing.

READ: Sotto: No need for Duque to explain himself on botched Pfizer vaccine deal

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TAGS: Nation, Pfizer, Senate, Sotto

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