Why does the national government seem to prefer Chinese firm Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccine?
President Rodrigo Duterte said he had asked Chinese President Xi Jinping for vaccines early on.
“‘Eh bakit ba ito si Duterte Sinovac nang Sinovac..?’ Kung sino ka man, ganito ‘yan, long before noong pumutok ito, tumawag na ako kay President Xi Jinping,” Duterte said.
“Tapos sabi ko wala kaming resources. We do not know how to make it. Please do not forget the Philippines,” he added.
Duterte also hit those criticizing the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program, saying there was no corruption involved.
“Why are you so occupied sa corruption? Kung maghanap kayo, hindi to. Baka sa inyo, sa departamento ninyo, hindi sa akin,” Duterte said.
The government has been criticized why it spent money on Sinovac vaccines when its efficacy paled in comparison with other vaccine brands.
Sinovac only showed a “general efficacy” of 50.4% in a late-stage trial in Brazil.
A term sheet has already been inked by Sinovac and the Philippine government for 25 million doses.
Amid skepticisms on the efficacy and cost of Sinovac, vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said it was not a done deal.
Meanwhile, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque assured that the Sinovac vaccine costs only around P650 per dose, similar to its pricing in other countries.
The emergency use of Sinovac has already been approved in China, Indonesia, and Turkey.
The Philippines has already allocated P73.2 billion for the procurement of the vaccines, with P40 billion coming from multilateral agencies, P20 billion from domestic sources, and P13.2 billion from bilateral agreements. -NB, GMA News