PH at end of line of countries buying COVID-19 vaccines – Duterte
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is at the tail end of the queue for coronavirus vaccines as rich countries have already cornered most of the supplies, President Rodrigo Duterte said on a taped briefing aired on Wednesday.
“We have money, but it’s in the bank. The problem is that rich countries bought all the supplies. There’s a scramble [for vaccines] now,” he said, speaking partly in Filipino.
According to him, procurement laws have not made it easy for the country to get vaccines, as the government could not “play” with public funds.
But he said that Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., the chief implementor of the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, had already talked with the Chinese firm — that is Sinovac Biotech — from which the government would buy vaccines.
In September, Duterte slammed pharmaceutical companies, particularly those in Western countries, for asking for advance payment for COVID-19 vaccines still under development.
In November, he changed his mind, allowing concerned government agencies to enter into advance market commitments with private vaccine developers and make advance payments.
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