Gov’t should not be pressured by China’s donation of COVID-19 vaccine, says Pangilinan

By: Neil Arwin Mercado - Reporter / @NAMercadoINQ - Inquirer.net | January 17,2021 - 05:17 PM

MANILA, Philippines — China’s donation of 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines should not pressure the Philippine government to approve its use, Senator Francis Pangilinan said Sunday.

Pangilinan made the remark after China State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced that China will donate 500,000 vaccine doses to the Philippines as both nations are coordinating to curb the coronavirus crisis.

This move, however, should not pressure the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC) to approve its use, said the senator.

“While we appreciate the gesture, the donation of 500,000 Chinese vaccines should not pressure FDA and HTAC to approve its use. Science and the data and results of clinical trials should be the sole basis and not ‘political goodwill’,” Pangilinan said in a tweet.

Yi made the announcement regarding the vaccine donation during a 40-minute meeting with President Duterte at Malacañang Palace, ending his two-day visit to the Philippines.

The Chinese foreign minister said the donation is a part of China President Xi Jinping’s commitment to Duterte.

Malacañang earlier announced that the Philippines has secured 25 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines developed by China’s Sinovac—50,000 of which will arrive in the country by February.

This, despite criticisms from the public and lawmakers alike regarding the efficacy rate of the said vaccine.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr., however, said that the country can still back out of the agreement.

/MUF

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TAGS: China donation, COVID-19 vaccines, FDA, Food and Drug Administration, Health Technology Assessment Council, HTAC, Pangilinan

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