Dr. Leachon wants DFA chief to reveal names of culprits in botched vaccine procurement

Published December 16, 2020, 12:53 PM

by Roy Mabasa

A former government COVID-19 task force senior adviser on Wednesday asked Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. to reveal the names of those who “dropped the ball” in the botched procurement of 10 million vaccines from drug manufacturing giant, Pfizer.

Dr. Tony Leachon (L) & Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. (R) (MANILA BULLETIN)

“Who dropped the ball in 10 million doses of Pfizer vaccine by January according to Locsin – this will enlighten the public on the real vaccination plan of the government,” said prominent physician, Dr. Tony Leachon, on his Twitter account.

Leachon was reacting to an earlier tweet made by Locsin disclosing that he and Philippine Ambassador Babe Romualdez had already secured some 10 million doses of Pfizer vaccine with the help of US State Mike Pompeo to be financed by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank until “somebody dropped the ball.”

Locsin, however, did not identify the people or person he was referring to in his tweet.

Pfizer and German pharmaceutical BioNTech collaborated on the first COVID-19 to be mass injected outside the clinical trial phase.

Leachon also urged the DFA chief to disclose what transpired during the negotiation to secure the much-needed vaccines to be able to guide Malacanang on how to move forward with the procurement plan.

“What really happened in your negotiations Sec. Pompeo and Amb. Babe Romualdez. This is key to enlighten the President on the vaccine plan given the question on efficacy and safety,” Leachon added.

In a series of tweets, the prominent doctor said the people need “clear and honest answers” surrounding the government’s COVID-19 vaccine plan.

“We are running out of time. The whole world is vaccinating now. We should enlist more people to help,” he added.

He also questioned why some people are settling for Sinovac as the choice for the vaccine to be administered to Filipinos, citing the importance of safety and efficacy involve in the process.

“Why settle for Sinovac without efficacy and safety data just because we failed to queue up early and missed the bus? We deserve the right vaccine for health workers, essential workers, military, and the poor?” the former government adviser asked.

Early this month, the Washington Post came out with an article alleging that Sinovac Biotech had been found to have a record of bribing Chinese drug regulators to secure vaccine approvals.

Leachon, who served as an adviser for the National task Force on Covid-19, was sacked in June this year after he earned the ire of President Duterte for his social media posts that tended to “jeopardized” government messaging.

 
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