DFA Sec. Locsin in talks with Pompeo to try to salvage botched COVID-19 vaccine deal with Pfizer
Moderna Might Replace Pfizer Botched Deal
The botched Covid-19 vaccine Pfizer deal may be replaced by Moderna very soon. DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin tweets this information recently. This is after his talk with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to help him and the Philippine Ambassador to the US Babe Romualdez in finalizing the agreement.
Corruption Rolled Out
The initial 10 million Pfizer for January went to Singapore instead. Senator Ping Lacson blames Francisco Duque for the mess. Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr. defends Duque. He said that Duque did his part. Besides the funds cannot be corrupted. There’s no doubt about the integrity of the World Bank, ADB, and the Finance Department, Galvez added.
Just a Fraction of the Vaccines
A fraction of the Covid-19 vaccines is good enough, explained Galvez. This will allow the president’s order to prioritize the healthcare workers, other front liners, and the poor. Local leaders are also open to purchasing the vaccines for their localities. The intention is to assure proper distribution. Regardless of the capacity to pay.
It’s a blessing, said a Filipino nurse. Leo Quijano who looks stunning contracted the coronavirus. She is one of the first frontliners to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in the UK. As a survivor of the viral disease, she is grateful and hopes that the world indeed found a cure. It takes 2 months for her t get rid of Coronavirus.
Quijano was very eager to have the Covid-19 vaccine after surviving it. She never hesitated and urges her peers to do the same. Originally from Marinduque in the Philippines, she serves as a nurse for two decades already. Slight side effects like feeling a little feverish and muscle pains are but normal for any vaccinations, she added.
Quijano said that the administration is very standard. Like any other vaccines. She only waited for 10 minutes and was offered biscuits and juice. Then, she immediately went back to work. Medical workers like her would like to become an example to the rest of the people. It does not prevent from getting infected only. But it can also stop anxiety and depression brought about by the pandemic.
May Parsons administers the first Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer
Nurses Overseas are a Pride of Filipinos
May Parsons administers the first Covid-19 vaccine with 95% efficacy to 90-year-old Margaret Keenan. She’s the first patient in the world to receive it. The clinical trial tests for this vaccine ends last November. The UK became the first country to approve it for immediate use.
Happy to be a Part of History
“I’m just glad that I’m able to play a part in this historic day. The last few months have been tough for all of us working in the NHS, but now it feels like there is light at the end of the tunnel,” Parsons said.
Pfizer Trust Filipinos
In the Philippines, many Filipinos are skeptical about taking vaccines. This is due to the many deaths after the dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia was given to the poor. Pfizer’s example just boosts not only the Filipino pride but also confidence in its products. Regardless of any past misfortunes. Surviving Covid-19 today is more crucial.
Sen. Marcos on global price ceiling for COVID-19 vaccines
The President’s Appeal to the UN
Following the appeal of President Rodrigo Duterte to the UN for the fair supply of the Covid-19 vaccine, Senator Imee Marcos said that neighboring countries must discuss a price ceiling for the immunity medicine. Despite the efforts of the government, 80% of the future supply of successful pharmaceutical companies are already purchased by rich countries. Therefore, the Philippines may get them at a higher rate.
FDA-Approved Covid-19 Vaccine is Not the Issue but the Supply
Senator Marcos also said that the FDA-approved Covid-19 vaccine are safe. There’s nocompromise when it comes to clinical processes. Processes are faster nowadays because of technology. However, the quotes that the Senate looks into are private selling costs of 4 to 5$. Not public or government rate of around 2.5$. It is ideal to address this matter globally through ASEAN, added Marcos. To purchase as a group with the neighboring countries should allow the country to buy the vaccines at a favorable rate.
Message to Skeptical Filipinos
It is understandable that some Filipinos are skeptical of taking the vaccine because of the Dengvaxia incident. Nevertheless, the issues now are not the efficacy nor the side effects. Besides, these are world-acclaimed vaccines for the global pandemic. The big question is if the Philippines is lucky enough to avail of at least 70% of the population’s needed doses – to stop the spread of infection. Remember that the country is not yet capable of bulk purchases due to the availability of funds.
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