Talks with US, Russian Covid-19 vaccine makers ongoing

Talks with US, Russian Covid-19 vaccine makers ongoing

MANILA — The Department of Health (DOH) will be meeting separately with representatives of American drug giant Pfizer and the Russian Embassy in Manila to discuss the possible procurement of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire confirmed.

The agency will be joined by officials from the Office of the President and the Department of Foreign Affairs, but Vergeire said she cannot disclose any details yet.

Asked if Manila’s talks with the Russian and Chinese vaccine makers will affect its negotiations with the American company, Vergeire said multiple sources for an effective vaccine are, in fact, beneficial for the country.

“I don’t think this will affect our negotiations with other institutions and other countries and I think it’s not only the Philippines conducting negotiations with different manufacturers, all countries do that… It’s complimentary,” she said in a media briefing.

Pfizer earlier revealed its late-stage vaccine trial results may come out in October 2020. According to reports, the pharmaceutical firm enrolled some 23,000 volunteers in its Phase 3 trials that began in July 2020.

Russia, on the other hand, began its post-registration clinical trial for its candidate coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V, late August 2020. The clinical trial came days after it announced Sputnik V’s approval in Moscow, a move met with international skepticism. (PNA)

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