COVID-19 vaccine deals with Sinovac at ‘fair price', general manager asserts

 By Rjay Zuriaga Castor


The Chinese firm, Sinovac, assured that their COVID-19 vaccine, CoronaVac, will be provided to the Philippine government at a reasonable price, Sinovac Biotech General Manager Helen Yang said Monday.

"Definitely we are not the highest expensive ones because the mission for Sinovac is to provide the vaccine at an affordable price," Yang said in an interview on CNN- Philippines.

"For [the] Philippines, we do committed to provide a favorable price but unfortunately, I'm not in the position to discuss this confidential information at this moment. But I will be assuring you that this is a very good price that we provided to the Philippines," she added.

Earlier this day, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque denied that there is a huge difference between the price of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines for the Philippines compared to other countries.

He said the Sinovac vaccine cost given to the Philippines is close to the price given to Indonesia.

On Sunday, the Palace spokesperson also assured that the Sinovac vaccine costs only around P650 per dosage, similar to its pricing in other countries.

“Ang presyo po na makukuha natin sa Sinovac ay hindi po magkakalayo sa presyo na nakuha ng Indonesia. Ang Indonesia po more or less P670, P675 ang kanilang presyo,” he said.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. had previously defended the government’s decision to procure jabs from Sinovac, saying it was offering its vaccine for a cheaper price than US pharmaceutical firms while Malacañang added that the firm’s vaccine has been “proven safe.”

Galvez also stated earlier it would still be possible for the Philippines not to proceed with its purchase of China’s Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine since the agreement it has with the Philippine government is not yet a “done deal” and is still subject to the final nod of the country’s vaccine expert panel. 

Yang, however, refused to confirm nor deny this information, citing the confidentiality agreement in the ongoing negotiations on the coronavirus vaccine procurement. 

Yang said Sinovac acknowledges that its vaccine has to secure an emergency use authorization (EUA) for local use in the Philippines.

"Before any vaccine can be used, it has to be approved by the local regulator and if there is an urgent need before a definitive agreement is agreed, and it is accepted and required by the Philippine government, I think we will try our best to be flexible," she said.

Asked if the government deal with Sinovac will only be finalized whether the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) grants an EUA, Yang said: "Which one goes first, we'll be flexible and see how practically that works for the country."