‘No preconditions for PH access to COVID-19 vaccines’ — Vergeire

Published September 11, 2020, 2:45 PM

by Analou De Vera 

The Department of Health (DOH) said on Friday that US-based vaccine manufacturers did not set conditions in order for the Philippines to be given access to their potential vaccines against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire
Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire (PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN)

“We have had discussions already with manufacturers from the US; no conditions were provided or given para sa atin,” said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

The DOH official made the response when asked about the recent statement of Malacanang Spokesperson Harry Roque, that President Duterte may have granted absolute pardon to US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton for the country to secure access to vaccines being developed in the US.

“Hindi po tayo naka-receive ng kahit anong condition na ganito [We have not received any condition like this], based from the discussions that we have had with the manufacturers from US,” said Vergeire.

Vergeire also assured that vaccines entering the Philippines would undergo the required regulatory process.

“Katulad ng lagi namin sinasabi, lahat ng bakuna na papasok dito para masiguro natin na safe yan at para masiguro na magiging epektibo iyan against COVID-19, and will benefit the population —have to go through our regulatory process [As we always say, all vaccines—to make sure they are safe and effective against COVID-19, and will benefit the population–have to go through our regulatory process],” she said.

Pemberton was convicted for homicide in 2015 after he killed Filipino transgender Jennifer Laude. He was sentenced to 10-year-imprisonment. Earlier this month, the Olongapo Regional Trial Court ordered his release based on the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) that he had accumulated.