Galvez, Duque should ‘reaffirm’ Sinovac vaccine price to boost public trust — Drilon

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 19)— Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. and Health Secretary Francisco Duque III should reaffirm the price range of China’s Sinovac coronavirus shot to help boost public trust, a senator said on Tuesday.

“It will help a lot if Sec. Galvez and Sec. Duque would reaffirm this price range that they are looking at,” Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said in an interview with CNN Philippines’ The Source. “This would augur well to overcome the mistrust of the people.”

Lawmakers and netizens have earlier raised concerns on the cost of the China-made vaccine, as officials refused to reveal the actual price, citing their non-disclosure agreement. Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque later said that each dose of the product is priced near ₱650 and won’t exceed ₱700.

Senate President Tito Sotto earlier said lawmakers may consider holding an executive session should officials still decline to disclose this data. But Drilon said there may be no need for one given the recent hints about the price range.

“In my view, there is nothing that should merit an executive session,” Drilon noted, but stressed that the decision lies on Sotto’s hands. “The manner of confidentiality is already moot and academic… the price range has been revealed.”

Sinovac Biotech General Manager Helen Yang, in an earlier interview with CNN Philippines, also refused to disclose the cost of the vaccine, but noted the Philippines was given a “very good pricing” for the deal. She also denied claims that their product was one of the most expensive in the market.

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