PH signed no indemnification agreement for Sinovac’s vaccines
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines did not sign an indemnification deal to receive some 600,000 doses of China-made Sinovac vaccines that will be donated by the Chinese government, Malacañang said Monday.
In an online Palace briefing, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque answered “no” when asked if the government signed any indemnification clause for Sinovac’s anti-Covid-vaccines.
“There’s a law being passed by Congress and of course the law is applicable to all vaccines,” Roque assured.
“There will be an indemnity fund and in case of side effects, there is no obligation on the part of the claimant to prove fault or negligence, they can recover from the P500 million indemnification fund,” he added.
Roque also said the government would not wait for the passage of the law establishing an indemnity fund before it starts vaccinations using jabs from Sinovac.
“Hindi na po dahil ang inaantay lang talaga natin, pagdating ng bakuna. But in any case, this might be a moot and academic question because I read from the news that both chambers of Congress are ready to pass this into law today,” Roque said.
(No, because what we are waiting now is the arrival of the vaccines.)
The Philippine government and World Health Organization are now waiting for the indemnity agreements from Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca needed to finalize the delivery of its vaccines via the COVAX facility.
Vaccines from American drugmaker Pfizer were initially expected to arrive mid-February, but faced delays due to hitches in ironing out the indemnity agreement.
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.
The Senate and House of Representatives are currently tackling their respective bills seeking to expedite the procurement of vaccines and to establish a national indemnity fund, which were certified as urgent by President Rodrigo Duterte.
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