PH, WHO awaiting drugmakers’ indemnity deals to finalize vaccine deliveries
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government and the World Health Organization (WHO) are still waiting for the separate indemnity agreement from Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca in order to finalize the delivery of their vaccines via the COVAX facility.
Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. and WHO Representative to the Philippines Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe disclosed this in different press briefings on Thursday.
“Talagang kailangan lang natin ‘yung AstraZeneca saka po ‘yung Pfizer, magbigay po sila ng separate indemnification agreement,” Galvez said in a Palace briefing.
(We just really need AstraZeneca and Pfizer to give a separate indemnification agreement.)
“Kasi sa ating COVAX facility, dalawa po ‘yung tinatawag natin indemnification agreement. Sa COVAX, ‘yun ang generic and then may specific indemnification clause na pipirmahan po ng both manufacturer at ‘yung Philippine government,” he then explained.
(In our COVAX facility, there are two indemnification agreements. The generic one with COVAX and the specific indemnification clause that will be signed by both manufacturers and the Philippine government.)
The Philippines already signed and submitted its indemnity agreement for the expected Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines.
Under this deal, the Philippines assured manufacturers that the government will assume responsibility should vaccine recipients experience adverse effects.
Vaccines from American drugmaker Pfizer were initially expected to arrive mid-February, but it faced delays due to hitches in ironing out the indemnity agreement.
“Unfortunately, we are still waiting for an indemnification agreement coming from the manufacturer, in this case, it’s Pfizer-BioNTech,” Abeyasinghe, meanwhile, said.
“I understand that the agreement from Pfizer-BioNTech has not yet been sent out to any of the countries that are included in the rollout… The Pfizer lawyers need to give us their own indemnification agreement and recipient countries need to sign,” he added.
Under the WHO-led COVAX facility, the Philippines is expected to receive at least 5.6 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca within the first quarter of 2021.
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