News Release

Philippine gov’t may seal deal with AstraZeneca this month

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte presides over a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members prior to his talk to the people at the Arcadia Active Lifestyle Center in Matina, Davao City on December 21, 2020. RICHARD MADELO/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

The Philippine government may sign a deal with UK’s AstraZeneca by the end of this month for the supply of COVID-19 vaccine once the British government issued a health regulatory authorization, the country’s vaccine czar said on Monday.

In his report to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said the government and AstraZeneca could sign a deal this December 28 or 29 for 20 million and 10 million doses for the local government units (LGU) and the private sector, respectively.

This is once Britain’s Ministry of Health Regulatory Authorization is approved, Galvez said.

AstraZeneca pegged its price to only five dollars or more or less P500 for two jabs of COVID-19 vaccine intended for an individual.

The government is also negotiating with Serum Institute of India for the supply of vaccine. Under a tie up with American’s Novavax Inc., the vaccines will be manufactured in India.

The Indian pharmaceutical company, which promised to deliver 30 million doses, will comply with RA 9184 and will not ask for cash advance, giving the government more flexibility, according to Galvez.

“So all in all po, kung magkakaroon po tayo ng pirmahan this coming month, mayroon po tayong 60 million for the second quarter at saka third quarter po,” he told the President.

President Duterte assured the public that the government has money intended for vaccine procurement.

“Sabi ni Avisado may pera daw. Sabi ni Dominguez may pera. Oh ‘di kaya natin. So walang problema. Ano ba ang problemahin natin?” he said, advising the people not to listen to intrigues.

“Makinig lang kayo sa akin tutal ako man ang pinili — ‘di ba ako ang hinalal ninyong Presidente? So I am supposed to solve problems for you, for the people,” he added. PND