The United States has made a “firm commitment” to supply coronavirus vaccines to the Philippines once they become available, Malacañang said Tuesday.

063 1264548698 1 - US ‘firmly committed’ to supply COVID-19 vaccines to PH, says Roque
(Joe Raedle / Getty Images / AFP / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque mentioned the country’s potential vaccine supply from the United States after another biotech company announced a breakthrough in vaccine development.

“We have firm commitments from the United States, relayed to (Foreign Affairs) Secretary (Teodoro) Locsin (Jr.) by no less than (US State) Secretary (Mike) Pompeo, that we will have access to COVID vaccines that may be developed in the United States,” Roque said during a televised press conference.

Roque has welcomed the announcement of Moderna, Inc. that its experimental vaccine against the coronavirus appeared highly effective, saying this was “good news.”

The efficacy of the Moderna vaccine came a week after the promising results from Pfizer about its vaccine in reducing the risk of coronavirus infection. Both companies reportedly used the same technology to make their vaccines. 

“Punta muna po tayo sa ating mga balita, mabuting balita naman po ito: Inanunsiyo po ng Moderna na ang kanilang bakuna laban sa COVID-19 ay 94.5% effective base sa resulta ng kanilang clinical trial (Let’s to other news, this is good news: Moderna announced that their COVID-19 vaccine is 94.5 percent effected based on the results of their clinical trial),” Roque said.

“Kung inyong matatandaan, noong isang linggo lamang, inanunsiyo naman ng Pfizer na ang kanilang vaccine ay more than 90% effective. Anong ibig sabihin nito? Well, palapit na palapit na po ang pagkakaroon ng bakuna laban sa COVID-19 (If you remember, just last week, Pfizer announced its vaccine is more than 90 percent effective. What does this mean? Well, our vaccine against COVID-19 is forthcoming),” he said.

Pfizer earlier announced its potential vaccine was more than 90 percent effective in preventing the disease.

Apart from the US commitment, Roque said the country has secured an assurance from China about a potential coronavirus vaccine supply. He said Chinese President Xi Jinping has promised President Duterte about supplying Chinese-made vaccines to the Philippines.

Roque said the United Kingdom has also committed to the World Health Organization about giving access to vaccines to poor countries.

Earlier, Russia has offered to supply coronavirus vaccines to the Philippines, which President Duterte has accepted.

Pending the COVID-19 vaccine production, Roque appealed anew to the public to continue to observe health protocols such as wearing of mask, frequent washing of hands and observing safe distancing from others.

Malacañang, meantime, is also thankful for the reported drop in the  coronavirus positivity rate in Metro Manila. He credited the public for cooperating with the government in curbng the spread of the disease.

“We are now back to the acceptable range as set by the WHO (World Health Organization) na ang positivity rate should be less than 5 percent. At 4 percent, patunay po iyan na ang mga taga-Metro Manila ay nais po talagang pangalagaan ang kanilang kalusugan para sila po ay makapaghanapbuhay na (At 4 percent, it proves Metro Manila residents want to protect their health so they can get back to work),” he said.

As of Nov.17, the country has recorded 410,718 cases of coronavirus with 7,862 deaths and 374,543 recoveries.

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