14 Dec 2020
The Philippines is in talks with Sinovac Biotech to close a deal for 25 million doses of the Chinese company's COVID-19 vaccine, to arrive in March. This was confirmed by a coronavirus taskforce official this week.
The country’s President, Rodrigo Duterte, is looking to vaccinate all his country's 108 million people by buying the cures from Russia or China.
At the end of last week, Philippine officials and Sinovac representatives met, and are expected to meet once again later on this week. A deal is set to be agreed on this week, stated the country's vaccine chief, Carlito Galvez.
Galvez said, "We have already conveyed to them our needs, 25 million for 2021.” The vaccine chief was speaking during a news conference.
Currently, Sinovac's trials are taking place in Indonesia and Brazil, and the Philippines’ drugs agency is evaluating the company’s plan to conduct Phase 3 clinical trial in the country.
Last month, Philippine companies agreed on a 2.6 million shots of a COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca, with the doses to arrives in May or June.
Duterte's spokesman, Harry Roque said that "the Chinese brand will come earlier.”
The Philippines has the second-highest number of cases and fatalities in Southeast Asia, with around 451,000 COVID-19 infections and over 8,800 deaths.