PH in talks with COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers in US, says envoy
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government has already expressed interest in availing COVID-19 vaccines being developed in the United States.
In a televised press briefing Tuesday, Philippine Ambassador to US Jose Manuel Romualdez revealed that they have already reached out to pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, as well as to biotechnology company Moderna, about possible purchase once their respective vaccine becomes available.
“The laboratories that will be producing these vaccines like Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, at saka ‘yung Moderna nagli-linya na tayo na once it’s available for export, nandyan na tayo.” Romualdez said.
(We are queued with the laboratories that will be producing these vaccines like Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Moderna, so once it’s available for export, we’ll have it.)
In June, Ambassador to London Antonio Lagdameo said the Philippines has also expressed interest in the COVID-19 vaccine being developed by Oxford University in the United Kingdom.
About a dozen potential COVID-19 vaccines are in the early stages of testing worldwide.
While it remains unlikely that one would be licensed before early next year at the earliest, numerous rich countries have already ordered some of these experimental drugs.
On Tuesday, President Rodrigo Duterte vowed to source out funds to provide Filipinos with COVID-19 vaccines once available, even saying that he would sell government properties if necessary.
Globally, over 14.7 million people have been infected with the potentially deadly respiratory disease caused by coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 since it was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei province in China late last year.
In the Philippines, 68,898 people have been confirmed infected with COVID-19 as of July 20. This tally includes 23,072 recoveries and 1,835 deaths. —with a report from Jim Mendoza, trainee
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