PH contacts China, Taiwan drugmakers for possible COVID-19 vaccine deal
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government is reaching out to drugmakers in China and Taiwan for a possible deal once a COVID-19 vaccine is developed.
According to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, the Department of Foreign Affairs is already “positioning” the country for negotiations with various manufacturers abroad.
“Meron tayo ngayon na tinitingnan, nakausap na rin natin sila. Dalawa ito. We’re just waiting for further documents. Galing sa China, at saka ‘yung isa galing I think sa Taiwan,” Vergeire told reporters in an online media forum Wednesday.
[We’re currently looking into two manufacturers, we have already talked to them. We’re just waiting for further documents. The one is from China and the other is from Taiwan I think.]
She also bared that the Philippines has received a number of offers from vaccine developers that are in different stages of clinical trials.
Prior to this, the government has also expressed interest in the COVID-19 vaccine being developed by Oxford University in the United Kingdom.
It also reached out to pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, as well as to biotechnology company Moderna in the United States about possible purchase once their respective vaccine becomes available.
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.
Over 14.9 million people worldwide have been infected with SARS-CoV-2—the new coronavirus strain that causes COVID-19—since it was first detected in Hubei, China late last year.
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