A United States-based drug company is prepared to supply potential coronavirus vaccine to the Philippines at a reasonable price by early next year, according to a Filipino diplomat.

vaccine 1 - Pfizer prepared to supply PH with COVID-19 vaccines
(PIXABAY / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez said Pfizer might sell the vaccine at $5 per shot to the Philippines once it gets regulatory approval from both US and Philippine authorities.

Pfizer recently announced that initial late-stage clinical trials showed its vaccine is more than 90 percent effective in protecting the people from the new coronavirus. Safety data, however will still needs to be established before getting US authorization.

“Right now, sila ang pinakanauuna ngayon dito sa Amerika na maa-approve dahil 90% ang efficacy ng Pfizer. Ang maganda diyan eh hindi naman ibibenta sa mga bayan kagaya natin na mahal dahil alam nila na tayo ay simple country, moderate (Right now, they will be the first in America that will be approved because Pfizer has 90 percent efficacy. The good thing is it will not sold at a high price to countries like ours because they know we are a simple, moderate country),” Romualdez said in a pre-recorded statement aired during Palace press briefing Tuesday.

“So, it will be sold to many of their allies specifically in the Philippines na hindi naman gaano kamahal. It will probably be around $5 siguro per shot at maganda na iyon (So it will be sold to many of their allies specifically in the Philippines at a reasonable rate. It will probably be around $5 per shot. That’s good),” he said.

Romualdez said if vaccine production starts this year, Pfizer would have to prioritize vaccine supply to the United States, which reportedly needs 100 million doses. “Pero (But) they are intending to produce as many as one billion by middle of next year,” he said.

Romualdez admitted that Pfizer was the first US drug manufacturer that reached out to the Philippine authorities about its potential vaccine supply. He added that he has close communication with the Pfizer’s country manager in the Philippines. 

“Sila ang nagfo-follow-up diyan sa FDA natin na kapag once na na-approved tayo ng FDA natin diyan, they are prepared to already plan the supply for us (They have ben following up with our FDA that once the FDA approves the vaccine, they are prepared to already plan the supply for us),” he said.

If Pfizer gets approval from the United States and Philippine Food and Drug Authority, he said vaccines could be made available by the first quarter of 2021.  He said the company has not asked for any downpayment but a “purchase order” in case the government is interested in the vaccine acquisition.

“Sa tingin ko by early next year, the first quarter magkakaroon na tayo ng by tranches iyan (I think by early next year, the first quarter, we may have supply by tranches),” he said.

“We have a 180 countries who are affected by this virus. So the demand is very high, at least for the first tranches of this supply. Pero they are very confident na masu-supply nila lahat ng mga kailangan na mag-o-order ngayon (But they are confident they can supply all those in need who will order now),” he added.

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