Sinovac vaccine may be around P650 per dose - Palace
Malacañang on Sunday assured the public that China’s Sinovac vaccine may be priced at around P650 per dose, lower compared to the amount circulating on social media.
In a radio interview, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque branded as "fake news" that China's Sinovac vaccine is priced at P3,600 for two doses.
While the government could not say yet the actual price of the vaccine, he said it will be about the same amount as the Sinovac vaccines used in Indonesia.
“Our price, though we cannot announce for now, will just be the same as the price of Indonesia which is around P650 per dose,” he said.
“Unlike the other capitalist company that is market dictated, the price of China (vaccine) can be changed. They don’t care and the price depends on who will buy,” he added.
Roque said the reason why China is possibly not announcing the price of its vaccine is because other countries that bought it for a higher price might get mad.
He made the clarification to stop those who are using the Chinese vaccine against the Duterte administration.
“We've been repeatedly saying the vaccine that will be used for the people will undergo careful study by the expert panel group,” Roque said.
The government earlier announced that it secured 25 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Sinovac, with 50,000 doses to be delivered next month.
Meanwhile, Senator Panfilo Lacson, in a statement, said the differences in the prices of Sinovac vaccines in the Philippines and other countries “may smack of corruption”.
Lacson noted that while Sinovac's product may cost as little as $5 or about P240 per dose, it may cost as much as a whopping $38 or more than P1,800 in the Philippines.
"If it’s true that the government is now dropping the price of Sinovac vaccine from P1,847.25 per dose to only P650, the Senate has probably done our share to save our people billions of pesos in the country’s vaccination program,” he said.
Lacson cited a news article in Bangkok Post dated Jan. 16, 2021 wherein the figures from the World Health Organization and from the manufacturers indicated the price of Sinovac was only $5 per dose.
However, during the budget deliberations last November, he said the Department of Health (DOH) provided the Senate Committee on Finance the data on the Sinovac price which was P3,629.50 for two doses.
"The difference in prices of Sinovac vaccine at US$5, US$14 and US$38 reminds me of an old story about how corruption is committed in three Southeast Asian countries ? Under the table, on the table, and including the table," the senator said.
“Sinovac has a track record of bribery, yet why insist on dealing with them?” Lacson asked.
But Roque said the arrival of 50,000 doses of Pfizer is proof that there is no favoritism in the government’s vaccination program.
“Whatever (vaccine) will arrive will be given to the people and whatever will be given is proven effective,” he said.
The Palace official said some vaccine doses from Pfizer and Sinovac are expected to arrive in the country by February.
He added that Sinovac, which only has a 50 percent efficacy rate, has caused no hospitalization from those who were inoculated.
“Why will we refuse it?... Why will we wait on the vaccines that will arrive by end of this year?... Why will we risk our health when there is already a protection,” Roque said. Ella Dionisio/DMS