PHL, ASEAN prioritized to receive China’s COVID-19 vaccines after efficacy proven in trials, says Palace

Strategically located cold storage facilities needed for vaccine distribution in PHL

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque and Philippine Ambassador to China Chito Sta. Romana explains how the the Philippines is prioritized to get the COVID_19 vaccines developed by China once these have passed clinical trials.  Mass production of the vaccines is seen to start by November or December, Sta. Romana said. (Screengrab from PCOO/RTVM/Courtesy PCOO)


(Eagle News) – The Philippines is targeted as one of the priority countries that would receive COVID-19 vaccines from China once these have passed efficacy and clinical trial tests in China, aside from other countries in the ASEAN region, Malacanang said.

In a Palace briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that said that there are two vaccines from China that are now in Phase 3 of clinical trials, and that the Philippines is targeted as one of the priority countries to receive the vaccines once their efficacy have been proven

He also reminded Filipinos not to be complacent and to strictly practice minimum health standards including frequent handwashing, sanitizing and physical distancing as the country also prepares for COVID-19 vaccine trials.

Importante po habang tayo’y nag-aantay ng bakuna… sundin natin ang sinabi ng ating Presidente: mask, hugas, at iwas; ingat buhay para sa hanapbuhay,” Roque said.

The Palace spokesperson also clarified with Philippine Ambassador to China Chito Sta. Romana with regards an agreement between President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the Philippines being one of the priority recipient countries for COVID-19 vaccines from China.

Ambassador Sta. Romana said that this agreement was reiterated during the recent visit of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.

“Yes, that is true. This was reiterated during the recent visit of Secretary Locsin, and as if you look at the DFA statement this was mentioned,” Sta. Romana said.

“We are among the priority countries. Of course, ASEAN, in general, is included here but the Philippines in particular,” he said.

-Cold storage facilities needed-

The ambassador said that this meant the Philippines will have to prepare for the “distribution and deployment of the vaccine”.

He noted that the Chinese pharmaceutical companies that have manufactured the vaccines have pointed out the importance of “cold chain storage facilities around the country or certain strategic areas around the country” for the storage of the vaccines against COVID-19.

The Ambassador said that a cold storage facility is very important to maintain the vaccine’s efficacy.

“It’s not a condition. It’s just a reminder that if you get the vaccine and you don’t have cold chain storage, then it’s useless. So you have to prepare,” Sta. Romana said.

“Basically it calls, it calls our attention on the need for the preparatory work to receiving the vaccine on a priority basis and the requirement for it to be effective, and that is really the storage is a major issue,” he explained.

Sta. Romana said that one or two vaccines for COVID-19 in China are already being given to front liners there, and to certain citizens on an emergency basis.

“Initial reports on Phase 3 clinical trials are encouraging as no adverse effects have been reported so far,” a Palace release said,

“There have been reports in Chinese media that certain areas in China, some local governments are already distributing it or deploying it for certain citizens. So mayroong nangyayari diyan in a city, near Shanghai in East China na nag-uumpisa na iyan,” Ambassador Sta. Romana said.

“And certainly, the company executives and employees of the different pharmaceutical companies involved in the vaccine development. They have volunteered to be part of the different phases of the trial at halos lahat iyan na-vaccinate na rin,” he explained.

-Mass production by November or December-

The international clinical trials on the Chinese made vaccines are ongoing.

Mass production of the COVID-19 vaccines developed by China are targeted by November or December, Sta. Romana said who stressed the importance of cold storage facilities prepared by the Philippines.

“Hopefully, mass production and distribution will happen in the near future, as early as November and December in terms of production. And it will depend on our capability to receive the vaccines in terms of our facilities, in terms of distribution. So, the prospect are bright in terms of a breakthrough in vaccine,” he explained.


(Eagle News Service)