PH to go for cheapest COVID vaccines

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    PRESIDENT Duterte on Monday night said the Philippines will buy vaccines for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from countries that would offer the drugs at the cheapest price because of government’s limited resources.

    The President, during his weekly “Talk to the People,” expressed belief the vaccines being developed by different countries and firms are likely to have the same effect.

    “Pare-pareho lang naman ‘yan. Parehong germs ‘yan eh. Kung sino lang ang nauna magbigay sa atin na mura, doon tayo pupunta kasi they know that we do not have enough money. Kung mahal masyado, we will go for the less expensive ones (They are all the same. They are all germs. Whoever can give it to us at a cheaper price, we will go there because they know that we do not have enough money. If it is too expensive, we will go for the less expensive ones),” he said.

    Duterte said he does not believe that the more expensive vaccine is, the more likely it is to be effective or the vaccine developed by one country, like the US, will be more effective than those made by China and Russia.

    The President also said three vaccines are expected to be out later this month or before the year ends.

    Duterte said among those in advance testing stages are from Moderna from the United States and Sinovac from China.

    Last month, Duterte said a vaccine being developed by Russia (Sputnik V) is in the advance trial stages and likely to be available by the second quarter of 2021. The Philippines is set to conduct joint clinical tests for the Sputnik V vaccine with Moscow later this year.

    The President has said he is willing to be the first one to be injected with the Russian-made vaccine.

    In the absence of a vaccine, Duterte reminded the public on the importance of complying with minimum health standards or protocols like hand sanitation, social distancing and wearing of masks and face shields.