No one dropped the ball – Galvez

CALOOCAN CITY, December 20, (PIA) - - “No one dropped the ball.” This was the emphatic answer made by Inter-Agency Task Force Against COVID-19 chief and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. to Senator Panfilo Lacson’s tweet early last week that the Philippines would have been in line to get the 10 million doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine had not someone dropped the ball.

Galvez made the statement during Saturday’s (December 19) Laging Handa Public Briefing. He said that the negotiation is still on-going and the government is waiting for the validation from Pfizer. Upon receipt of the validation, the signing of the agreement for the purchase may be made within this month or early January.

He clarified that the purchase of the vaccines cannot be rushed because of regulatory requirements and the validation of the safety and efficacy of the vaccine.

“Out of the 200 COVID-19 vaccines being developed, only, two from the United States (US), 3 from China and 2 from Russia were given Emergency Utilization Authority (EUA). There are only 5 or 6 vaccines now being mass-produced because of delayed evaluation and authorization. Added to that are the logistic challenges and supply of raw materials,” Galvez explained.

Meanwhile, Ambassador of the Philippines to the United States, Jose Manuel G. Romualdez is helping in the negotiation of vaccines developed in US like the Moderna.

He added that the government negotiations with seven (7) pharmaceutical companies are on full throttle.

On the probability of getting a kickback from the purchase of the COVD-19 vaccine, Secretary Galvez said that it will not be possible because the funds will come from the World Bank (WB) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). No government official has access to the funds except for the Secretary Of Finance whom he has high regards for his integrity.

The government is planning to initially purchase 60 million anti-COVID-19 vaccines next year.  Priority sectors that will be immunized are health workers, soldiers and the indigents.

Source: Philippines Information Agency (

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