PH in talks with US firms for Covid-19 vaccine

PH in talks with US firms for Covid-19 vaccine

MANILA – The Philippine government has started coordinating with American pharmaceutical firms leading in the coronavirus vaccine development to secure a portion for Filipinos once export-ready supply is available.

“We ourselves here in Washington D.C. have talked to the other companies, the laboratories that will be producing this vaccine like Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Moderna, naglilinya na tayo para (we are lining up so that) once it’s available for export nandiyan na tayo (we are there),” Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez said during the Laging Handa briefing on Tuesday.

“They will mass produce this and try to produce as many as possible because this is full cooperation of all countries, banding together once this vaccine is available. So maraming umaasa diyan sa vaccine (Many are relying on the vaccine),” he added.

The US biotech firm Moderna Therapeutics had earlier announced it would enter the final phase of its human trials for a possible coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccine on July 27 after yielding promising results from its initial clinical trials.

According to reports, the final stage of its testing will involve around 30,000 participants in the US.

Pfizer and German company BioNTech, on the other hand, had reported positive data in the early tests of its vaccine candidate while Johnson & Johnson is expected to launch its first human trial in the coming weeks.

Latest data from the World Health Organization show that a total of 14,348,858 people globally have so far been infected by the SARS-CoV-2, the virus strain causing the Covid-19.

In US alone, there are at least 3,685,460 confirmed cases, almost half of the tally in the entire Americas with 7,584,675 infections.

In the same press briefing, Romualdez reported that about 300 to 400 Filipinos have so far contracted the Covid-19 in the US, but he assured that most states are in “full gear” in so far as testing and attending those who need to be hospitalized are concerned.

He said the Filipino front-liners, particularly nurses, are “well taken care of” and are appreciated by the American people.

“Ang aming ginagawa dito sa lahat ng Filipino community natin, nag-coordinate kami sa kanila at tinatanong ng Consulates kung sinong mga Filipinos ang mga apektado (What we are doing now is we coordinate with the Filipino community to check on the Filipinos affected by the pandemic),” he said. (PNA)

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