PH secures 20M doses of AstraZeneca vaccine

Philippine News Agency
January 13, 2021

National Policy Against Covid-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. (file photo)

MANILA – National Policy Against Covid-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. on Wednesday announced that the government will sign another tripartite agreement with the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and the private sector on Thursday, to secure 20 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine.

"Bukas nga po ay aming pipirmahan, lalagdaan po namin ang tripartite agreement na more or less 20 million doses para sa AstraZeneca (In fact, we will sign a tripartite agreement tomorrow for more or less 20 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine)," he said.

Galvez also emphasized that the country's efforts on vaccine acquisition are not lacking.

"Hindi po tayo nahuhuli dahil kasi mas nauna po tayo na pumirma na mayroon po tayong 30 million sa COVAX at 25 million sa Sinovac (We are not lagging, because, we are more advance in signing supply deals from 30 million Covovax vaccines and 25 million doses of Sinovac vaccines)," he said.

"Puwede nating pirmahan (We can now sign the deals) any day from now," he added.

According to Galvez, the government could secure about 148 million doses of vaccines, once the ongoing negotiations with six Covid-19 vaccine developers push through.

Galvez said the government has been negotiating with various pharmaceutical companies including AstraZeneca, Novavax, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Sinovac, and Gamaleya Institute.

No monopoly

Galvez has clarified issues hounding the government's supposed “monopoly” over purchase negotiations for coronavirus vaccines.

Galvez said the government has done various strategies to get access for the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines which include bilateral arrangements with vaccine manufacturers and pursuing diplomatic relations with the other countries.

He added that the government has also entered into a tripartite agreement with the private sector and vaccine developers.

Galvez noted that the government also allows local government units (LGUs) to acquire vaccine supplies, through a tripartite deal with vaccine makers.

"I believe meron po tayong (we have some) misconceptions, binibigyan po nating ng daan ang mga LGUs at saka (we have been giving leeway for the LGUs and the) private sector through a tripartite agreement," Galvez said during a virtual public briefing.

Some senators have earlier lamented that the national government is monopolizing all negotiations for the procurement of the vaccines.

"Dahil ang AstraZeneca ay nag-o-offer ng (since the AstraZeneca is offering a) tripartite [deal], hinayaan po namin at with our guidance na hinayaan po namin na maka-access ang ating mga private sector at ang ating mga LGUs (we are letting the LGUs and the private sector to access the procurement of the vaccines, with our guidance)," Galvez explained. (PNA)


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