Vaccine deal on the cards

The Philippines is set to sign a supply agreement for AstraZeneca’s potential Covid-19 vaccine, the first such deal in a country aiming to further reopen its economy that has been ravaged by the pandemic.

Carlito Galvez, a top coronavirus task force official, told a media briefing the deal would be for two million doses. However, Joey Concepcion, a government business adviser, said the private sector was aiming to procure more than that.

The deal will augment government efforts to lock in supplies to inoculate around two-thirds of its 108 million population, and is another boost for AstraZeneca, which has already signed supply deals for more than three billion doses of its experimental vaccine developed with the University of Oxford.

The private firms will pay for the vaccine and donate half of the supply to the government, with the other half to be used to cover employees in the private sector, Concepcion said, without identifying the private companies.

Galvez, the former general in charge of strategy to fight the coronavirus, said the government had separate negotiations with AstraZeneca, which said on Monday its Covid-19 shot could be up to 90% effective and cheaper to make than some rivals.

The vaccine still has to be approved by regulators.

The government is also in talks with China’s Sinovac over a 20-50 million vaccine supply deal, as well as US drugmaker Pfizer, Galvez said earlier.

The Philippines, which has the second largest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in South-East Asia after Indonesia, has gradually lifted coronavirus curbs since May after imposing one of the strictest lockdowns globally.

The US$370bil (RM1.51 trillion) economy, among the fastest growing in Asia before the pandemic, fell deeper into recession in the third quarter as curbs continued to limit economic activity. — Reuters

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 18
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

Did you find this article insightful?


Next In Aseanplus News

HK approves emergency use of Fosun Pharma-BioNTech vaccine; 73 cases reported on Monday (Jan 25)
Japanese PM faces mounting pressure over pandemic response
Pfizer seeks S. Korea approval Covid-19 vaccines ahead of February rollout; country on alert after 400-plus cases reported
Tractor rally aims to overshadow India's show of military might as Covid-19 cases goes above 10.65 million
China’s Xi uses Davos speech to warn against new Cold War
Singapore: Confidence levels in vaccines in expected to rise; 44 Covid-19 cases, all imported
Indonesia's investment reaches over US$58bil last year, Covid-19 cases almost hitting 1 million
Asean News Headlines as at 7pm on Monday (Jan 25)
Thailand targets exports of 6 million tonnes of rice in 2021; Covid-19 cases still rising
Philippines: More infectious Covid-19 variant found in northern country, total nears 515,000

Stories You'll Enjoy