Galvez reminds private firms vs vaccine resale, privileged access to supply

Published April 23, 2021, 8:02 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

Private companies must ensure the “equitable distribution” of their procured coronavirus vaccines and avoid giving “privileged access” to such supply, according to vaccine czar Carlito Galvez.

Vaccine Czar Carlito Galvez Jr (Photo: OPAPP/Manila Bulletin)

Galvez also reminded private firms against the resale of vaccines, asking them to ensure the vaccination of their workers are free “as much as possible.”

President Duterte earlier allowed the private sector to import vaccines “at will” for their employees to hasten the country’s vaccination efforts. The private sector however must still forge a tripartite deal with the government and the supplier since vaccines are so far only approved for emergency, not commercial use.

“Very specific sa (It is very specific in the) tripartite agreement that there will be no diversion, there will be no resale at saka talagang ano po natin doon ( and there) is equitable distribution, no privileged access,” Galvez said during an online press briefing Thursday, April 22.

“Wala pong commercial terms, dahil iyong mga vaccine po natin ay emergency use pa lang po. Ang ginagawa po natin ay ina-allow lang po natin na iyong mga company nagpo-pool in sila ng kanilang mga resources to buy the added volume (There are no commercial terms because the vaccines are for emergency use only. We only allow companies to pool their resources to buy the added volume),” he added.

Galvez however recognized that workers have requested for the inclusion of their family members in the vaccination program of the private sector. And since some companies cannot afford to shoulder extra vaccine supplies, he noted the vaccines can be made available at cost price or without profit.

“Just in case mayroong tinatawag tayo na mga dependents, ang ano po natin is at cost (Just in case the dependents will be included, it should be given at cost),” he said.

President Duterte earlier directed Galvez to sign documents allowing private sector to import coronavirus vaccines regardless of amount and quantity. The move seeks to boost the country’s vaccine supplies and ramp up the immunization of Filipinos from the coronavirus disease. Authorities earlier explained that the government needed to cover the indemnity in case of adverse side effects from vaccination. A law, recently signed by the President, established a P500-million indemnity fund for vaccine recipients that experience adverse side effects.

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion earlier proposed that private firms must be given “flexibility” in its vaccine rollout for their workers.