Pres. Duterte: PHL to choose less expensive vaccine which has proven efficacy vs COVID-19

Race by various countries to come up with vaccines good for PHL, he says

President Rodrigo Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on September 7, 2020. KARL NORMAN ALONZO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

(Eagle News) – President Rodrigo Duterte said that the government will choose for the country’s use the less expensive vaccines to be developed and approved against COVID-19.

Duterte said that the various vaccines being developed against the virus are all the same as they target to kill the germs that cause COVID-19.  His government has already readied the budget for the purchase of vaccines against COVID-19 that will pass testing and approval of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

President Duterte said that if the United States, China, Russia or other nations come up with effective vaccines which are not expensive, the country will use these for its citizens who would want to be protected from the virus.

“Alam mo kasi sinabi ko nga mayroon na. I think it’s Moderna. It’s a US company. I think they are ready by September. Hindi nga — sabi ko nga pabilisan na sila,” he said.

President Duterte said that the race to develop vaccines against COVID-19 is good for the nation as the government can choose from among the vaccines with proven effectivity but are cheaper.

“Ang Sinovac — ang China is also ready. Kung sino pare-pareho lang naman ‘yan. Parehong germs ‘yan eh. Kung sino lang ang nauna magbigay sa atin na mura, doon tayo pupunta kasi they know that we do not have enough money. Kung mahal masyado, we will go for the less expensive ones. It does not mean na mas mahusay ‘yung sa Amerika o ‘yung sa China inferior or ang Russia na maganda, iyon namang gawa ng ibang nations hindi masyadong maganda,” he said in his recent address to the nation.

“No such thing because what is being cultured and cultivated and then harvested and placed in your body is the same germs COVID-19. Walang pagkaiba. So hintayin na lang natin na bilisan,” he added.

China has already put its homegrown vaccines on display for the first time at a Beijing trade fair this week and authorities hope the jabs will be approved for use by the end of the year.

Sinovac Biotech LTD vaccine candidate for COVID-19 coronavirus was already seen on display at the China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) in Beijing on September 6, 2020

The vaccines are among a handful to have entered phase 3 trials, typically the last step ahead of regulatory approval, as countries race to stub out an illness that continues to ravage large parts of the globe.

Meanwhile, mass production in Russia of its Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19 is expected to start this September.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund, which finances the production of the Sputnik V in Russia on the basis of production capacities of its portfolio companies, sees strong global interest in the vaccine and plans to conduct Phase 3 clinical trials in different countries, including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Brazil and the Philippines.

It will start mass production in other countries in partnership with local sovereign wealth funds, including India, South Korea and Brazil, as well as, in Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Cuba.

The plan is to ramp up the vaccine production to 200 million doses by the end of 2020 including 30 million doses in Russia, it said.

At least 20 countries had expressed interest in obtaining the Sputnik V, including UAE, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Brazil, Mexico and India.

The Philippine is set to join various independent clinical trials on COVID-19 vaccines, aside from the World Health Organization (WHO) Solidarity Trial.

(Eagle News Service)