PH signs COVID-19 vaccine deal with AstraZeneca

Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash

THE Philippines on Friday, November 27, will sign a tripartite agreement for two million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine against the novel coronavirus, according to the country’s vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr.

“This coming Friday, pipirma po tayo ng tripartite agreement na kung saan tayo po ay makakabili ng dalawang milyong doses ng bakuna mula sa AstraZeneca ng United Kingdom. Kasama po natin ang pribadong sektor na nagdonate nito (We will sign a tripartite agreement where we can buy two million doses of Astrazeneca of the United Kingdom. We will be with the private sector who donated),” he said Thursday.

The two million doses will be funded by the private sector as the national government negotiates with the British vaccine maker for 20 million doses using public money.

“We will negotiate (for the possible purchase of vaccines using) public money. The 2.2 million (doses) involves private money and the negotiations with AstraZeneca are ongoing.

Our deadline is this November…We still have strategies to continue the 20 million access to AstraZeneca,” Galvez said.

Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that the vaccine deal would help in strengthening the partnership between the public and private sector in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They (private sector) will co-share in the responsibility (to protect) the economy by vaccinating their own people and their own stakeholders, especially the laborers with small wages that the President mentioned. We will prioritize them in the vaccination,” he said.

Roque also assured that no politics would happen in the distribution of vaccines.

“If you look at the vaccine roadmap, (it) will last for three to five years. It’s beyond political color; it’s beyond political years of the election,” he said.

“If there is politics… the President would not give vaccines to his rivals… but the President is not like that. Everyone needs a vaccine and it will be given to everyone,” he added.

The AstraZeneca vaccine for COVID-19 is being developed with Oxford University in the United Kingdom. It has a zero-profit program for 2021, meaning the vaccine will be priced cheaper.

Earlier, the pharmaceutical firm announced that its COVID-19 vaccine was 70% effective in pivotal trials and could be up to 90% effective. Galvez said the government intends to vaccinate 25 to 30 million Filipinos per year.

“Ang atin pong target ay magkaroon po tayo ng herd immunity na ma-vaccinate po natin ang more or less 60 to 75 million [Filipinos] para ma-contain po natin ang (Our target is to acquire herd immunity that could vaccinate more or less 60 to 75 million Filipinos to contain the) virus effectively with the herd immunity,” he said.

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