The Philippines' vaccine experts panel is not under pressure to give preference to COVID-19 vaccines made by Russia and China which are being preferred by President Duterte, the Department of Health (DoH) said.
DoH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that all vaccines that will enter the Philippines will have to go through the country’s regulatory process.
“Hindi naman. Walang pressure. Katulad ng sabi natin kung ano man ang dadating na bakuna dito sa ating bansa (Not at all. No pressure. As we’ve said, whatever vaccine comes to our country), it will go through the usual and our regular regulatory process,” she said.
“Kung ano man yung meron tayong mga regulations sa bansa, ipapatupad natin (Whatever regulations we have in the country, we will implement),” she added.
Duterte last Monday said that they will prioritize vaccines developed by Russia and China if they are proven safe and effective against COVID-19.
Vergeire said that the country is still in talks with other vaccine developers in order for the Philippines to have access to potential vaccines.
“Maraming pag-uusap na ginagawa tayo when it comes to the procurement of vaccines. As I've said, all efforts are being strengthened para tayo ay magkaroon ng posisyon para we can also access vaccines (We are engaged in a lot of discussions when it comes to the procurement of vaccines. As I've said, all efforts are being strengthened so that we can have a better position for us to have access to vaccines),” she said.