Pharmaceutical firms assure affordability of vaccine for COVID-19 once available
Leading pharmaceutical companies assured on Thursday that the vaccine to be developed against coronavirus disease would be affordable.
In a video conference hosted by the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines, Andreas Riedel, country manager of Pfizer Philippines, said they hope to develop the vaccine against COVID-19 by the end of the year and to produce hundreds of millions of doses by 2021.
Beaver Tamesis, president and managing director of American pharmaceutical company MSD in the Philippines and head of the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines, and Jean-Antoine Zinsou, general manager of Sanofi Pasteur Philippines, both said that while all those trying to develop vaccine as early as possible, they make sure that they are not sacrificing "efficacy."
"We're using existing platform that has proven efficacy," Tamesis said.
Zinsou, however, said there no 100 percent efficacious vaccine. However, authorities would make assessment before any vaccine is sold in the market, he added.
Riedel, also a member of the board of the American Chamber of Commerce and PHAP, expressed hope there would be more vaccines that could be developed against COVID-19.
Asked about the concern on the cost of vaccine once it is developed, Tamesis said, "we are all committed to deliver an affordable vaccine," stressing that many people need it.
However, he said they could not say yet the possible amount.
Riedel also underscored the need for collaboration among pharmaceutical firms to make the vaccine more affordable and accessible.
The Philippines has been participating in various clinical trials on COVID-19 being conducted by the international pharmaceutical companies as well as those led by the World Health Organization. Celerina Monte/DMS