President Duterte announced that the Philippines will buy from the country that will offer the cheapest vaccine against COVID-19, saying all of these have the same effect any way and that funds are already tight.
Duterte made the statement after it was reported that experts are expecting to find out if one of the three potential vaccines from Moderna, Pfizer, and AstraZeneca, works by the end of the year or sooner.
In his public address Monday evening, President Duterte expressed optimism that a vaccine will be available as early as September.
“I think it’s Moderna. It’s a US company. I think they are ready by September. Sabi ko nga pabilisan na sila. Ang Sinovac — ang China is also ready (I said it’s a race now. Sinovac — China is also ready),” he said.
Duterte believes that all vaccines will have the same effect so the Philippines will be buying from the country that will offer it at the cheapest price.
“Kung sino, pare-pareho lang naman ‘yan (It doesn’t matter who, it’s the same anyway),” he said.
“Kung sino lang ang nauna magbigay sa atin na mura doon tayo pupunta kasi (Whoever offers us the cheapest vaccine, we will go with that because) they know that we do not have enough money. Kung mahal masyado (If it’s too expensive), we will go for the less expensive ones,” he added.
“Walang pagkaiba. So hintayin na lang natin na bilisan (There is no difference so let’s just wait for them to hurry it up),” he continued.
President Duterte said last month that the Philippines may enjoy a COVID-19-free Christmas after he accepted Russia’s vaccine offer.
The Philippine government decided to do its own tests on Russia’s Sputnik V and do the Stage III trials simultaneously with Moscow who will fund it.
It was revealed over the weekend that early tests of Sputnik V showed encouraging results.