Tripartite agreement for CoronaVac signed enabling private sector to procure the vaccine

Published April 11, 2021, 11:42 PM

by Edgard Hilario

IP-Biotech recently signed a tri-partite agreement with the National Government and the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII) — marking the start of private sector galvanization towards the procurement and administration of vaccines for employees and stakeholders.

Pursuant to RA 11525 or the “COVID-19 Vaccination Program Act of 2021”, recently passed in the Senate and Lower House, private companies and Local Government Units are now authorized to procure COVID-19 vaccines which have been given Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in cooperation with the Department of Health and the National Taskforce Against COVID-19 (NTF) through a tripartite agreement. This was further reaffirmed and emphasized through recent statements of President Rodrigo Duterte.

FFCCCII received total request of almost 750,000 doses due to the rising cases in Metro Manila and the Philippines. SINOVAC has also gained widespread acceptance amongst the Chinese Filipino community after successful use amongst healthcare workers in the Philippine Governments mass vaccination drive. Under the agreement a first batch of 500,000 doses will be imported to the Philippines for private sector use. 

IP Biotech maintains that CoronaVac is an inactivated whole-virion vaccine — “produced based on a proven traditional platform used for many other vaccines that have been administered to millions of people globally, in both infants and the elderly.”

IP Biotech added that the Philippines would not have difficulty storing Sinovac’s vaccine since ordinary freezers would be enough for the vaccine storage. CoronaVac could also be stored in standard refrigerator temperatures of 2º to 8ºC.

As outlined in RA 11525, a tripartite agreement is required because available vaccines are only provided by an EUA, therefore vaccines are not available for resale.  IP-Biotech Chairman Enrique Gonzalez declared “We would like to thank Secretary Galvez and Secretary Duque for their unwavering support in opening the gates for the private sector to purchase vaccines. The private sector funding can be a real force multiplier in the country’s mass vaccination effort. We also thank the Federation for consolidating the requirements of the Filipino Chinese private sector.”

Special Envoy Dr. Jaime Cruz mentioned in a zoom meeting that General Galvez was in full support and directly coordinating with private organizations like FFCCCII to import vaccines so long as approved by FDA with EUA. Special Envoy Dr. Jaime Cruz also mentioned that upon Secretary Galvez receiving the final draft of the tri-partite agreement, Sec. Galvez immediately signed it during the holidays and forwarded to the Department of Health. Sec. Galvez reiterated that the sooner vaccines arrive in the Philippines for the private sector, the sooner the Philippines can re-open its economy. 

“We would also like to thank the effort of Ambassador Huang Xilian for making this possible. Securing this 500,000 doses of Coronavac (Sinovac) early this year is critically important for the Philippines given the rising cases and the needed to vaccinate the private sector.” 

“Vaccinating the employees in the private sector will help us attain herd immunity, as well as relieve the strain on our hospitals and healthcare workers.” Gonzalez concluded.