By Deighton Acuin and Archie Villaflores

PHOTO: Harry Roque FB

While recognizing the public is growing impatient, the much-awaited coronavirus vaccines are coming soon in the Philippines, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque reassured Saturday.

During his guesting on Eat Bulaga’s Bawal Judgmental segment, Roque was asked by program host Vic Sotto about the developments in the government’s effort to purchase vaccines.

“‘Wag po kayong mag-alala, meron lang konting hitches, pero paparating na rin po ang bakuna para tayo ay magbalik-buhay,” Roque said.

“Pangako po ‘yan,” Roque added.

He explained the vaccine batch deliveries were delayed because pharmaceutical companies like AstraZeneca and Pfizer are requiring an indemnification agreement. He added the drugmakers are wary due to Dengvaxia controversy where the Sanofi pharmaceuticals faced lawsuits over alleged deaths connected to the anti-dengue vaccine.

“Gusto nila ngayon eh magkaroon ng assurance na hindi mangyari yung nangyari sa Dengvaxia na dinemanda yung gumawa ng bakunang yun,” Roque said.

Likewise, he assured the Filipinos they will not be given a life-threatening jabs.

“Hindi naman po ‘yan ibibigay sa kanila nang hindi dumaan sa masusing pagsusuri at mga eksperto po ang nagsabi na ligtas at epektibo ‘yan,” Roque said.

“So pagdating po ng bakuna, pila-pila na tayo sa bakuna dahil ‘yan talaga ang magiging solusyon dito sa ating pandemyang COVID-19,” he added.

On Thursday, President Rodrigo Duterte has certified measures to establish indeminification fund for vaccine recipients as urgent.

The government will set aside a total of P500 million for individuals who may show side effects after receiving a vaccine dose, according to Roque.

Talks about the indemnification agreement surfaced after Pfizer and AstraZeneca, two pharmaceuticals that received an EUA from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), required such an agreement before the vaccine doses could be delivered.

On Wednesday, Vaccine Czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said that the national government has finally submitted the required indemnification agreement to the two vaccine manufacturers.

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