PH diplomats working to get smaller batch of Pfizer vaccines after botched initial talks

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 18) — From the initial talks that would have assured the Philippines 10 million doses of Pfizer vaccines, Filipino officials are back in discussion with the United States drug firm — but this time to secure a smaller batch of supplies.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Friday said he and Philippine Ambassador to Washington Jose Manuel "Babe" Romualdez are back to square one in securing vaccine supply for the country.

"He and I are trying again. Not same order that went to Singapore; but another one even smaller," Locsin tweeted.

Romualdez said the deal will possibly involve only 5 million doses — only half of the initial plan.

Locsin on Tuesday tweeted that he and Romualdez were able to secure 10 million doses of Pfizer vaccine to arrive in the country by January 2021, but plans were foiled because "someone dropped the ball."

Romualdez said the vaccine arrival will most likely be delayed to June because other nations were able to finalize deals earlier than the Philippines, including Singapore.

Senator Panfilo Lacson, after discussing with Romualdez and Locsin, revealed that Health Secretary Francisco Duque III bungled the deal, but Duque and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. denied the allegations.