PH in talks with US drugmakers to secure COVID-19 vaccine, says Ambassador Romualdez

Photo: Unsplash
Photo: Unsplash

The Philippine government is coordinating with several American pharmaceutical companies so that it could have access to a COVID-19 vaccine once it’s ready, the country’s ambassador to the United States said today.

Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez said in today’s Laging Handa (“Always Ready”) press briefing that the Duterte government is looking forward to the approval of the vaccines, many of which are currently going through clinical trials.

Read: Duterte approves face-to-face classes in low-risk areas as PH’s COVID-19 cases near 70k

“We all know that these vaccines are going to be important for all countries and we ourselves in Washington D.C. have already talked to the laboratories that will be producing these vaccines like Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson, and Moderna,” Romualdez said.

“We are already lining up so that once it’s available for export, we are already there. Of course, this will be shared with everyone. They will mass produce it and try to produce as many as possible. This [requires the] full cooperation of all countries, banding together once this vaccine is available. A lot of people are waiting for that vaccine,” the ambassador said.

Biotech company Moderna reported early last week that the vaccine it is developing appeared safe and produced promising results from the 45 people who received it. Pfizer, which is collaborating with German company BioNTech, also reported that its vaccine has induced an immune response from its test subjects.  Johnson and Johnson, meanwhile, said that it will begin late-stage human trials for a vaccine sometime in September.

President Rodrigo Duterte has said multiple times that he would not allow face-to-face learning unless a vaccine becomes available but recently agreed to allow the method in areas that have relatively few COVID-19 cases.



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