President Rodrigo Duterte moves to defend the coronavirus vaccines made by Chinese pharmaceutical firms saying these are also good like those made by Western countries.
In a speech on Wednesday, Duterte defended what appears to be the preference on Chinese-made vaccines.
Duterte assured that Vaccine Czar Carlito Galvez will not procure these vaccines if they are proven not to get effective and detrimental to the health of Filipinos.
“The vaccine that Secretary Galvez is buying is as good as any other vaccines invented by the Americans or the Europeans. The Chinese do not lack brains. The Chinese are bright,” Duterte said mixed English and Filipino.
“And they would not venture if it’s not sufficient — if it’s not safe, sure, and secure. Those three: It must be safe, sure, and secure. That is the guarantee,” Duterte added.
The Philippines has already secured 25 million doses of Chinese-made Sinovac which is expected to be delivered this year.
The first 50,000 doses of the vaccine is expected to be delivered in February, with Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration at present.
“Fifty thousand doses of Sinovac in February, then 950,000 in March, then one million, two million, three million every month (after that),” Galvez said.
The vaccine still needs to undergo its clinical trials in Turkey and Brazil, but Galvez has expressed his confidence that it would pass the late stage trial.
Researchers bared that Sinovac’s vaccine was just 50.4 percent effective in a Brazilian trial.
Galvez said the government chose Sinovac as it had given the Philippines the “best price” compared to US pharmaceutical companies.