News Release

President Duterte expresses hope as country awaits COVID-19 vaccine

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the People after holding a meeting with members of his cabinet and Senator Christopher Lawrence Go to discuss various updates at the Malacañang Golf (Malago) Clubhouse on November 10, 2020. KING RODRIGUEZ/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the People after holding a meeting with members of his cabinet and Senator Christopher Lawrence Go to discuss various updates at the Malacañang Golf (Malago) Clubhouse on November 10, 2020. KING RODRIGUEZ/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Tuesday, November 10, made a renewed appeal to the public to be patient as the government gears toward procuring vaccines against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), assuring the people that his administration will buy enough for all citizens.

In his public address, President Duterte expressed his elation over pharmaceutical companies’ vaccine development, noting that a vaccine against the respiratory disease is at hand noting it’s a “hope for mankind”.

The President explained, however, that the country needs to wait as pharmaceutical companies developing the vaccines will most likely prioritize domestic distribution before selling these to other countries.

“So iyan mga kababayan ko, basta mabakunahan kayo. Wala kayong… Kailan? Maghintay lang tayo. Pera? Makahiram tayo kaagad. Ang suplay ang problema. Kung sino iyong country nakapag-imbento, naturalmente unahin niya iyong mga tao niya. That’s the reality of life,” said Duterte.

“So, you can expect that within the few months until next year, all of those vaccines produced will be used for the Americans. Same story with the European countries na all successfully developed the vaccine including China, iyong sa China ‘yung Sinovac pati na iyong Sinopharm,” he added.

Despite the country’s economic struggles as a result of the pandemic, the President has assured that his administration has sufficient fund to buy enough doses for every Filipino, noting that the government will first inoculate those at the lowest income bracket as well as state frontliners.

“As I have promised, ang gastos ng gobyerno itong bakuna para sa lahat ng Pilipino. Kaya nga uumpisahan natin sa mga mahihirap, pataas na ano. Let’s start with the A, B, C, D, E. The lowest sa E, iyong talagang mahirap na wala then paakyat tayo dahan-dahan sa D,” he said.

The government can borrow up to $300 million to fund the acquisition of vaccines, the President said, citing assurances from the Finance department.

American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has recently announced that the COVID-19 vaccine it is developing proved to be 90-percent effective in third phase of the clinical trial, which tests the vaccine on thousands of volunteer patients.

Moderna Inc., a US biotechnology company, also said in a press release that it’s preparing to globally launch its potential coronavirus disease vaccine after completing its 30,000-participant late-stage trial last week.

At present, more than 150 coronavirus disease vaccines are under development across the globe. Vaccine research and development for COVID-19 is touted to be the fastest vaccine development in human history. PND