THE President finds no fault on anyone over the delay in the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines in the country, says Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.
But while President Rodrigo Duterte may have cleared government’s designated point men, Nograles hinted at the biopharmaceutical firms behind the development, manufacture and sale of the anti-viral vaccines as responsible.
In a virtual press briefing, Nograles said that the President does not hold anyone accountable over the delayed arrival of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines from COVAX and the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines, which were supposed to arrive February 15 and February 23.
“Alam mo, si Pangulo, he understands that we are at the receiving end of these vaccines. As much as we want to…as practicable as possible…ginagawa naman po natin ang lahat ng kinakailangan based on requirements,” Nograles was quoted as saying.
“But at the end of the day, it is the vaccine manufacturers’ obligation, responsibility to ship it to us at a time that was promised,” he added.
Interestingly, it was presidential spokesperson Harry Roque who made the announcement on the dates he claimed Pfizer-BioNTech and Sinovac vaccines were supposed to arrive.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already granted emergency use authorization (EUA) to Pfizer-BioNTech back in January 14, but the lack of indemnification law in the country delayed the arrival of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines in the country.
“We are at the receiving end of vaccine manufacturers. As far as the government is concerned, the FDA has already issued the EUA for Sinovac. It’s up to the donating country, the vaccine manufacturer to expedite the delivery,” Nograles said.
Nograles, nonetheless, assured the public that the country will get vaccine doses from the COVAX facility.
“I don’t think mawawalan tayo ng allocation. Commitment was made by the WHO (World Health Organization) through COVAX. They stand by that commitment,” he added.