China’s Sinopharm ready to supply at least 10M vaccine vials to PH, waiting for gov’t intent to procure

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(FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 26)— China's state-owned pharmaceutical giant Sinopharm is ready to supply at least 10 million COVID-19 vaccine vials to the Philippines this year, its local distributor said Tuesday.

Mark Tolentino, president and CEO of MKG Universal Drugs Trading Corp., told CNN Philippines that the concerned parties were still on the negotiation stage, but noted there would be no problem when it comes to the volume of available vaccines.

MKG is the sole and exclusive distributor of Sinopharm in the country.

Ang commitment ng Philippines, volume lang -- there is no issue about that because they can produce up to 1 billion vials this year,” Tolentino said in an interview with The Source. “In fact based on our initial talk with the chairman, this year kaya nila ng 10 to 20 million vials.”

[Translation: The commitment to the Philippines, for volume -- there is no issue about that because they can produce up to 1 billion vials this year. In fact, based on our initial talk with the chairman, this year they can produce 10 to 20 million vials.]

Tolentino, however, said the company has yet to apply for emergency use approval in the Philippines as it is still awaiting intent from our government regarding procurement.

“Sinopharm is waiting for the intent — whether or not Philippines will buy Sinopharm vaccines,” he added. “Sinopharm is a state-owned company, that’s why we will do that through the diplomatic channel."

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'Cheaper, safer'

Meanwhile, Tolentino said that the pricing for Sinopharm in the Philippines is also still under negotiation, but it could possibly be lower than in other countries because the negotiations would be government-to-government.

“In Malaysia, the price is $30 per vial. This is the price of the Malaysian government,” Tolentino revealed. This translates to roughly over ₱1,400.

‘Pag G2G it should be cheaper because may diplomatic relationship involved, may possible po na i-subsidize ng Chinese government so it should be cheaper,” he noted.

Tolentino also argued that Sinopharm is one of the safest vaccines available, logging a high efficacy rate among the Asian ethnicity group at over 79%.