MANILA – The government will disclose the coronavirus vaccines’ price list to the public once negotiations are done, National Task Force Against Covid-19 deputy chief implementer Sec. Vince Dizon said on Monday.
Dizon, also the country’s testing czar, said the government has various ongoing talks with vaccine developers.
“When these negotiations have been concluded, then these issues such as price [and] volumes will be disclosed to the general public, so I think, we all just really need to keep our eyes on the ball and focus on ensuring that we have access to the very, very limited supply in the global market,” Dizon said during an interview over ANC.
“But the prices will be transparently disclosed at the time when the negotiations are done,” Dizon added. “As you very well know, Secretary [Carlito] Galvez has repeatedly said that he is bound by this confidentiality agreement with all vaccine manufacturers, not just Sinovac, all of them require confidentiality agreements while negotiations are taking place.”
Once negotiations end and terms are finalized, Dizon assured that all the details of the negotiations will be disclosed to the public.
“There’s so much information coming out, some accurate, some are not so just have to be really careful like what vaccine czar has repeatedly said and what he is committed to [do], is to ensure that we have adequate supply and also these negotiations are going to be transparent,” he said.
Access to vaccine supply
Dizon emphasized that the government is committed to providing all Filipinos with safe and effective vaccines.
“Right now, the main goal is to be sure that given the limited supply of vaccine throughout the world, we can access the supply from different vaccine manufacturers,” he said.
The government has ongoing negotiations with seven pharmaceutical companies including Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Sinovac, Gamaleya, and Novavax.
“These seven vaccine companies have been recommended initially by the vaccine expert panel for the government to begin the negotiation with to ensure that we have the supply,” said Dizon.
The government’s goal is to get advanced access to vaccine jabs given its limited supply, he said.
“So that, when the time comes that all of these vaccines whether all of them or some of them have been approved by the panel of experts in the country and our FDA [Food and Drug Administration], we will be ready to purchase them and administer them to the priority sectors and the general public,” Dizon added.
In the government’s plan to combat the pandemic, Dizon said there is a need to adopt a decentralized approach.
“Meaning, we need to employ and we need to utilize all available resources not just from the national government, but from the local government units (LGUs), as well as the private sector,” he said. “This I think was the major reason why our testing capacity was drastically improved after the initial challenges early on, in March, April, and May of last year.”
Dizon said the government will do the same clear policy of a whole-of-nation approach to involve every stakeholder in the rollout of the vaccination campaign.
The government, LGUs, and the private sector are working together for the implementation of the national immunization program, he said.
Dizon said the vaccination program will be done through a prioritization scheme.
“This is part of the equitable distribution of a very very limited supply of vaccine throughout the world,” he added.
Dizon said the government is currently coordinating with the private sector and LGUs to utilize all available assets and resources for the vaccination rollout, to ensure the swift vaccination of as many Filipinos as much possible.
The initial vaccination program might start by the third or fourth week of February, Dizon said. (PNA)