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China vaccine available next month

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CORONAVIRUS vaccines are displayed at a press conference during a media tour of a new factory at Sinovac, one of 11 Chinese companies approved to carry out clinical trials. WANG ZHAO/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

China has announced the availability of the coronavirus vaccine next month, initially eyeing the production of 600 million this year and another one billion next year.

Philippine Ambassador to China Jose Santiago “Chito” Sta. Romana disclosed this yesterday in a television briefing, pointing out that Chinese pharmaceutical companies are already producing these vaccines on a limited scale.

“Perhaps as early as next month, coming soon, in November, there could be a regulatory approval or the China FDA will announce which of the four or all of the four whichever, they are now being evaluated for general use. That is what we are waiting for,” Sta. Romana said.

“They are talking of possibly propping up production, by the end of the year, they are talking of hundred of millions of dosages, as much as 600 million dosages,” he noted.

“Once there is approval and after approval, next year they are talking about as much as one billion dosages of these vaccines. So, we will know soon because they are only evaluating the result of phase 3, the final phase. So far the initial report is there is no adverse reaction in the clinical trials,” the Philippine envoy explained.

He said the embassy is now facilitating the communication between the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Chinese government as the Philippines is one of the priority countries authorized to access the availability of the vaccine.

“The important thing is to wait for the final announcement by the Chinese and when they start the production, when they are ready for production, obviously there are more diplomatic talks that will have to be conducted,” Sta. Maria said.

Storage facilities
As this developed, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Saturday said that the government is eyeing the establishment of cold storage facilities in every region in preparation for the distribution of vaccine against coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Vergeire said that following the order of President Duterte, the DoH is targeting to implement the vaccination program against COVID-19 to at least 20 percent of the country’s total population.

She said the government is continuously negotiating with the different manufacturers and bilateral partners to push the availability of the vaccine.

Vergeire assured that the government is negotiating with various groups to expand the storage facilities in preparation for the commercial use of the COVID vaccine.

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