Duterte orders Duque to explain about supposed foiled early purchase of Pfizer vaccines
President Rodrigo Duterte has directed Health Secretary Francisco Duque III to answer the allegations that he is reason the Philippines failed to immediately secure millions of vaccine doses against coronavirus disease from Pfizer.
In a televised press briefing on Thursday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte made the statement during his meeting with Duque and other members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases on Wednesday night.
"When it comes to the accusation of dropping the ball by Secretary Duque, last night, the President told Secretary Duque to answer the allegations of (Foreign Affairs) Secretary (Teodoro) Locsin (Jr.)," he said.
Locsin recently said on his Twitter that the Philippine plan to purchase some 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine by January next year was foiled because somebody "dropped the ball."
Senator Panfilo Lacson alleged Duque who supposedly dropped the ball on the deal with Pfizer.
Roque said the Duterte administration continues with the negotiation with Pfizer for the COVID-19 vaccines, which are being used in some countries, like the United States and United Kingdom.
Roque said the government expects Pfizer vaccines in the country to arrive by the second or third quarter of 2021.
He said that as of January next year, almost all the produced vaccines by Pfizer have been sold to wealthy countries, such as the US, UK, Singapore, and Asutralia. Celerina Monte/DMS