Chinese-made vaccines slowly gaining world’s confidence — Galvez

Published March 2, 2021, 8:39 AM

by Martin Sadongdong

Vaccine mistrust remains high but…

The mistrust on coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines made by China remains “high” although many countries have already started buying them due to the shortage of supply of Western-made jabs, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. disclosed Monday night.

Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) on COVID-19 (NTF AGAINST COVID-19 / MANILA BULLETIN)

“The Chinese vaccines are gaining momentum in many developing countries. However, there is still mistrust, [it is] still high,” Galvez said in his report to President Duterte during the latter’s weekly public address.

He said that even some European countries which prefers Western-made vaccines have started buying Chinese vaccines. Hungary, according to Galvez, became the first European country to procure 500 million doses of China’s Sinopharm vaccine.

“There are many countries [which] are also asking for Chinese vaccines due to the unavailability of Western vaccines. Pakistan, Egypt, Senegal, Cambodia, Bolivia, and many more have already received Chinese vaccines,” he said.

In the Philippines, Galvez admitted that many people are still having second thoughts on getting the Sinovac vaccines that were donated by China to the government.

However, he revealed that some medical institutions have already contacted him to ask for a supply of Sinovac vaccine after the national government used it in the country’s vaccination rollout.

One of these medical institutions is the St. Luke’s Medical Center, which asked for 5,000 doses of Sinovac jabs.

“We were surprised because St. Luke’s asked for 5,000 [doses] of Sinovac for his personnel. St. Luke’s originally prefers Pfizer but Dr. [Arturo De la] Pena texted me and asked for the vaccines. We will have a mini rollout in Bonifacio Global City and Quezon City so we can have an uptick [of Chinese vaccine preference],” Galvez said. Dr. De La Pena is the CEO and President of St. Luke’s Medical Center.

President Duterte thanked St. Lukes Medical Center for supporting the government’s initiative to combat COVID-19 by using the readily available vaccines.