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Sinovac pricey? DOH says gov’t can negotiate with manufacturers on vaccines’ price

/ 12:40 PM January 12, 2021
Usec. Rosario Vergeire

DOH Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire, FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) said Tuesday that prices of vaccines that will be purchased by the government will still undergo negotiations, amid public concern on the government’s seeming preference to procure vaccines from China’s Sinovac despite its price.

In an interview with ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo, Health Undersecretary Rosario Vergeire explained that the market price posted by vaccine manufacturers may not be the actual price of the inoculation shots that will be involved in deals with the government.

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“When we say that a specific vaccine has posted ‘yung kanilang market price, hindi naman po talaga ‘yan ang presyong makukuha ng gobyerno. This is through negotiation that you can be able to lower down the prices, depending on the number also that the manufacturer can commit to us,” she said when asked about the seeming preference of the government for vaccines from Sinovac despite its price, and even as other vaccines have reported higher efficacy rates.

(When a specific vaccine manufacturer has posted a market price for the vaccines, it is not the actual price that the government will get. Through negotiation, we can lower down the prices, depending on the number that the manufacturer can commit to us.)

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“Ibig sabihin, wala po tayong binibigyan na preference among these vaccines. Kung sino po ang manufacturer that can commit to us, that can provide to us with the number of vaccines that we need ‘yun po talaga ay ipupursue natin,” Vergeire added.

(It means we do not give preference among the vaccines. We will pursue agreements with whichever manufacturer can commit to us that they can provide the number of vaccines that we need.)

Data from the office of Senator Sonny Angara, chair of the Senate committee on finance, showed that two doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Sinovac is priced at P3,629, which makes it the second most expensive vaccine next to Moderna priced at P3,904 to P4,504 for two doses.

Two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca, the brand involved in tripartite agreements between some local government units and the national government, only cost P610.

Quoting Secretary Carlito Galvez, Vergeire said vaccines from Sinovac, Russia’s Gamaleya Institute, and COVAX Facility may arrive in the Philippines by February. Galvez is the country’s vaccine czar and chief implementer of the national pandemic action plan.

“Yesterday doon sa kanyang pagrereport sa Senate, he (Galvez) was able to mention na pwede magkaroon tayo ng mga bakuna galing po sa Russia at Sinovac by February, and of course ‘yung COVAX po na inaasahan natin na makakapagbigay na po sa atin ng initial doses by February,” Vergeire said.

(Yesterday in his report to the Senate, he mentioned that we may have vaccines from Russia and Sinovac by February, and of course, COVAX which we expect to provide us with initial doses by February.)

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“So what would be very certain by February would be the COVAX Facility, that will provide us the initial doses, and also ito pong sinasabing Sinovac po,” she added.

(So what would be very certain by February is the COVAX Facility, which will provide us with the initial doses, and also the Sinovac.)

The Philippines earlier secured 25 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines developed by Sinovac, 50,000 of which will arrive by February, according to Malacañang.

RELATED STORIES:

PH eyes rollout of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine via COVAX facility in Feb

1st COVID-19 vaccine shots in PH seen by end of February — Galvez

JPV

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
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TAGS: coronavirus Philippines, COVID-19, Department of Health, Sinovac
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