Galvez bares some vaccine brands shun tripartite deals, opt to sign with govt only

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 18) — Vaccine manufacturers no longer want to get into any multi-party agreements (MPAs) with other sectors and would rather deal with the national government for the procurement of COVID-19 doses, the country's vaccine czar bared on Wednesday.

In a statement, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. addressed the concern of Sen. Miguel Zubiri about the government's supposed inaction on tripartite agreements to procure the vaccines.

READ: Govt. hit for delays in signing tripartite vaccine deals, probe sought 

Galvez, who also heads the National Task Force Against COVID-19, enumerated the reasons why such deals have been put on hold:

- Moderna and AstraZeneca are no longer accepting vaccine orders through MPAs for the time being;

- Novavax vaccine has yet to receive Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration;

- Sinovac, Pfizer and Sputnik V intend to prioritize the orders of the national government given current supply constraints;

- Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN has yet to secure approval from the Health Technology Assessment Council and the Philippine government is concerned about "potential overpricing issues on the aforesaid vaccine"

- Johnson & Johnson is currently not open for MPAs

Galvez urged the local government units (LGUs) to "face the reality that vaccine makers are still not able to produce at a level that would meet the requirements of all nations."

"The issue is not just about having the resources to procure the vaccines but its limited supply in the world market," he pointed out.

He also appealed to the LGUs to be more patient while the task force ensures that vaccines are being distributed as equitably as possible.

Zubiri told CNN Philippines' The Source that Galvez revealed to him on Tuesday the reasons behind the delayed MPAs after he filed Senate Resolution 858 seeking inquiry into the matter.

"Thankfully si Secretary Galvez, he moves very quickly, he’s an action man," Zubiri said.

"He reached out to me yesterday and wrote to us formally, together with Sen. [Tito] Sotto, our Senate President, the explanations why hindi pa daw napipirmahan (these deals were not yet signed)," he added.

Zubiri said about 42 LGUs and over 700 private companies still have pending tripartite deals which could have covered at least 10 million vaccine doses and increased the country's daily vaccination capacity to over a million doses a day.

Galvez said the county has so far received 42,575,350 doses this year, with over 28 million shots administered nationwide as of Aug. 15.