Vaccine makers Pfizer and AstraZeneca have agreed to “disclose” the Covid-19 vaccine purchase agreement with the Philippines under specific conditions, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Wednesday, Dec. 14.
“The DOH, as early as 2021, has coordinated with vaccine manufacturers to secure their consent to disclose information and enable procurement audits free from legal liability,” the state health agency said in a statement.
“Of the manufacturers engaged by the GOP (government of the Philippines), AstraZeneca and Pfizer have given their consent for DOH to disclose information under specific terms,” it added.
Currently, the Senate is conducting a probe regarding the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines.
The DOH reiterated its stance that it is ready to provide the necessary documents regarding the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines.
The Health agency said, “it has always been willing to provide the needed information on vaccine procurement, in response to issues surrounding its alleged refusal to provide the said information to Congress and the Commission on Audit (COA) due to the Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs).”
“The DOH reiterated that it has, in fact, been very proactive in requesting for the conduct of a special audit for the Covid-19 vaccine procurements, as evidenced by official DOH correspondences to COA as early as 2021,” the DOH said.
Meanwhile, the DOH also noted the importance of respecting NDAs as these have legalities.
“Despite the NDAs posing a potential hurdle to full disclosure, the DOH clarified that the DOH and NTF (National Task Force Against Covid-19) will comply with all COA audit requirements. The agency explained that disclosing information covered by the confidentiality agreements without explicit consent from the manufacturers has legal as well as public health repercussions,” the DOH said.
“Such disclosure may result in manufacturers’ loss of confidence, which may, in turn, harm the country’s future prospects to be prioritized or even to secure life-saving vaccines and other products for Filipinos,” it added.
Aside from the aforementioned vaccine manufacturers, the Covid-19 vaccines made by Sinovac Biotech, Moderna, Janssen, and Gamaleya were also used in the country.