- Senate President Vicente Sotto III said the senators will discuss the government’s preference for China’s Sinovac vaccine
- Earlier, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III announced that the Philippines has secured some 25 million doses of Sinovac
- Sotto said the senate inquiry will look into why the government preferred Sinovac while many local government units chose AstraZeneca
Senate President Vicente Sotto III said the senators will tackle the alleged preference of the government for the China-made COVID-19 Sinovac in the Senate Committee of the Whole’s hearing.
“Bakit ang pinipili nila, balita ko pinili na nila ang Sinovac? Bakit iyon? Tatanungin natin bakit iyon? Ano ba efficacy noon?” Sotto said in an interview on Super Radyo dzBB.
Sotto said the senators want to know the government’s preference for the Sinovac vaccine when many local government units have already secured deals with AstraZeneca.
“Tanungin natin bakit ‘yun, anong efficacy n’un. Bakit ‘yong mga LGUs ang kinakausap AztraZeneca?,” he added.
Recently, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III announced that the Philippines has secured some 25 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from Sinovac. The first batch of the doses is expected to arrive by February.
Senator Panfilo Lacson had earlier expressed his puzzlement on why the government seems to have a preference with the Sinovac vaccine. He stressed that in terms of efficacy, Sinovac is at 50%, lower than Sinopharm’s 79% and Pfizer’s 95%. Sinovac was also reportedly more expensive than the two, Lacson added.
Senator Joel Villanueva also echoed the same sentiment; saying that even doctors doubted the efficacy of Sinovac’s product and would refuse to be injected with it.
Sotto disclosed that the senate inquiry will look into the details of the government’s plan with the P72.5-billion funding allocated for the COVID-19 vaccines.
“Bottomline, ang tanong bakit hanggang ngayon wala pa tayo? Eh 24 na bansa na yung nag-uumpisa na eh. ‘Yun ang pinaka-main [at] bottomline na tanong doon. Nasaan na tayo?” he said.