Duterte ‘most hopeful’ about potential China-made vaccine

President Rodrigo R. Duterte is “most hopeful” about the potential coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine being developed by China, Malacañang said Thursday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte prefers a China-made vaccine even as several countries are on a race to be the first to come up with a vaccine against Covid-19.

“The President is most hopeful with China but he has also said that Johnson and Johnson is on track,” Roque said in a virtual Palace briefing.

Citing reports, he said Moderna’s potential vaccine is also showing “very promising results.”

“Mayroon pong latest information on Moderna, mukha daw pong it has very promising results doon sa kaniyang third phase ng clinical trials (There is latest information on Moderna. It seems like its third phase of clinical trials is showing very promising results),” Roque said.

He said the governments of the Philippines and Russia are also coordinating on the latter’s potential Covid-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, since clinical trials will take place in both countries.

“Nakikipag-ugnayan pa rin po tayo dahil kinakailangan dumaan pa rin sa (We are also coordinating with the Russian authorities as far as the Russian Sputnik is concerned because it still needs to undergo) third clinical trial both in Russia and in the Philippines,” Roque said.

He also mentioned the potential vaccine being developed in England but clinical trials were temporarily stopped.

Roque said the global race to develop a Covid-19 vaccine would benefit countries like the Philippines.

“Now alam ninyo naman po kasi ang nature ng pharmaceutical industries, nag-uunahan po iyan, which is good for us. Nag-uunahan iyan at alam po nila kung sino mauna, sila po iyong kikita nang pinakamalaki (You know the nature of pharmaceutical industries, they’re racing to develop a vaccine, which is good for us. They’re on a race because they know that the first one to make it would earn the most),” he said.

Roque noted that the country would be putting its hopes that a vaccine would be developed without too much delay.

“So let’s hope that the free market this time will really come to our rescue and will incentivize the drug manufacturers to come up with (a) vaccine sooner than later,” he said.

Duterte earlier said the government would purchase the most affordable vaccine that will be sold due to budget constraints.

He also said he would seek a discount from China and Russia on the Covid-19 vaccines that each of the two countries developed and promised to supply the Philippines with.

Despite lacking funds, the President assured that the government would provide free vaccines to the disadvantaged once these are available.

In his first speech before the United Nations General Assembly, Duterte called for “universal access” to a Covid-19 vaccine, saying it is the only way to beat the pandemic.

He emphasized the need for “rich and poor nations” to have access to the vaccine. PNA.GOV.PH