Vaccine deal talks with Moderna to start by Dec. 30 — Locsin

By: Darry John Esguerra - | December 21,2020 - 10:53 AM

MANILA, Philippines — Negotiations for a possible coronavirus vaccine supply deal with American biotechnology company Moderna may start on or before Dec. 30, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said Monday.

“Vaccine Czar Carlito Galvez Jr. is gonna start the negotiations with American biotech company Moderna on or before Wednesday next week,” Locsin said in an interview over CNN Philippines.

The country’s top diplomat added that Philippine Ambassador to US Jose Manuel Romualdez is helping in the negotiations.

Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine earlier received emergency use authorization (EUA) from the US Food and Drug Administration. This will enable the pharmaceutical firm to apply for an EUA in the Philippines.

The Philippine government and private companies signed a supply agreement with British drugmaker AstraZeneca involving at least two million doses of its vaccine.

Aside from AstraZeneca, the government is also looking into the vaccines of China’s Sinovac Biotech, Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute, and Pfizer of the United States.

The Philippines has the second-most number of COVID-19 cases in the entire Southeast Asian region, preceded only to Indonesia. As of Sunday, there are 459,789 confirmed coronavirus infections in the country, including 429,134 recoveries and 8,947 deaths.

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