The Philippines can get COVID-19 vaccines from China's Sinovac at a "very good price," the Chinese biotech firm said Monday after concerns were raised over its cost compared to rival jabs.
CoronaVac, the COVID-19 vaccine produced by Sinovac, is not among the two most expensive in the market and will be sold to the Philippines at a "reasonable" price, Sinovac general manager Helen Yang said.
“I will be assuring you that this is a very good price that we will be providing to the Philippines,” Yang said in an interview on CNN Philippines.
"In terms of pricing, definitely, we are not in the highest most expensive ones because I think it is the mission for Sinovac to provide the vaccine at an affordable price," she said.
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Yang however refused to confirm Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque's statement over the weekend that Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccines are priced at around P650. Roque made the remark to debunk reports that the China-made vaccine is priced at P3,629.50.
“That’s (CoronaVac) not the second most expensive, I can assure you. It is reasonable, I believe,” Yang said.
The Philippines is targeting to secure 25 million doses of CoronaVac by the end of 2021 with the initial 50,000 doses expected to arrive in February.
Although trials in Turkey found Coronavac to be 91.25% effective, other, more robust trials in Brazil only demonstrated an efficacy rate of around 50%.
While Sinovac and the Philippine government has yet to seal the deal on vaccine supply, Yang assured Filipinos that the Chinese firm was ready to meet demand.
Sinovac has applied for emergency use authorization in the Philippines but has yet to receive approval. So far, only American drugmaker Pfizer is the sole vaccine maker to secure EUA in the country.
The Philippines has also signed vaccine deals with British pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca for some 17 million doses of its vaccine developed with Oxford University, and another with US drug maker Novavax for the purchase of 30 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine called Covovax.
-with a report from Agence France-Presse