Philippines signs indemnity agreement with COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers
Illustration file photo taken on Nov. 23, 2020 showing a bottle reading "Vaccine COVID-19" and a syringe next to the Pfizer and BioNtech logos.
AFP/Joel Saget

Philippines signs indemnity agreement with COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers

(Philstar.com) - February 17, 2021 - 12:29pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has signed Indemnification Agreements with drugmakers Pfizer and AstraZeneca under the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez disclosed Wednesday. 

Once signed, an indemnification agreement "holds a business or company harmless" in case of unexpected adverse events.

Speaking at the Laging Handa briefing Wednesday, Galvez, who also serves as the chief implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID-19, said that manufacturers were concerned with the country's previous experiences with the Dengvaxia vaccine.

"All of the manufacturers, they are requiring an indemnity agreement in all the contracts we're signing. That's included there, non-disclosure and indemnity," the country's vaccination chief said in mixed Filipino and English. 

"So for all of the vaccines, not just the COVAX, the indemnification clause is really required...They're still contemplating what the final mutual agreement will be [with regards to] indemnification," he also said, adding that these negotiations were the source of the latest delay. 

Galvez added that the Philippines was talking to other foreign countries, including the United Kingdom, China, Russia, India for faster delivery of COVID-19 vaccines

Earlier, the Food and Drug Administration also disclosed that the national government is establishing a similar indemnity fund for those who will be inoculated primarily because the COVID-19 vaccines are still underdeveloped.

FDA chief Eric Domingo added that in exchange for this, the vaccine companies have asked to be free of responsibility for adverse reactions or side effects.

READ: How the Dengvaxia scare helped erode decades of public trust in vaccines

A 2018 study of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine noted that the country’s “highly-politicized response” to the reported risks posed by Dengvaxia has eroded overall public trust in immunization.

As of the health department's latest case bulletin issued Tuesday afternoon, exactly 552,246 coronavirus cases have been recorded in the country since the virus first emerged in December 2019. 

"From what we see, our agreement with Pfizer will most likely push through," Galvez also said when asked what would happen if the US drugmaker did not sign the indemnity agreement. 

He also assured the public that the deal was not endangered by the latest discussions on indemnification. 

— Franco Luna with a report from The STAR

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: May 7, 2021 - 6:46pm

The national government has so far secured two official deals for COVID-19 vaccine supplies in the Philippines, one with Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac and another with the Serum Institute of India.

Watch this space for bite-sized developments on the vaccines in the Philippines. (Main image by Markus Spiske via Unsplash)

May 7, 2021 - 6:46pm

The Department of Health announces the resumption of the use of AstraZeneca jab for all eligible population following the recommendation of the Food and Drug Administration and the DOH All Experts Group on Vaccines.

The health department urges the public to get their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine. 

"The benefits of additional protection against COVID-19 could only be achieved by completing both doses of the vaccine," the DOH says in a statement.

May 7, 2021 - 10:53am

The regional health minister of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao said there is no basis for insinuations that COVID-19 vaccines are forbidden in Islam.

Medical workers from the Integrated Provincial Health Office-Maguindanao gave Bangsamoro Health Minister Bashary Latiph a Sinovac anti-coronavirus jab Thursday.

Latiph reiterated his appeal to residents in all cities and provinces in BARMM to ignore fallacies and assertions on Facebook by skeptics and pessimists who are not even medical practitioners that vaccines can do more harm than good.

“Listen only to BARMM’s Health Ministry, to the Department of Health and to health workers in provinces and in cities in the Bangsamoro region,” Latiph told reporters after he got an anti-COVID-19 shot. — The STAR/John Unson

May 5, 2021 - 9:51am

The Philippines approves the application of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use.

Food and Drug Administration Director general Eric Domingo says it only took nine days to review the emergency use authority application.

"The known and potential benefits of Moderna, when used to prevent COVID-19, outweigh the known and potential risks of the said vaccine," Domingo says during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum.

May 3, 2021 - 7:14pm

President Rodrigo Duterte has been vaccinated against COVID-19, reportedly with the Sinopharm vaccine.

May 3, 2021 - 10:24am

A total of 1,510 tourism frontline workers have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine as of April 30, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat says.

Workers from DOT-accredited and LGU-licensed quarantine/isolation facilities and non-quarantine DOT accredited accommodation establishments are included in the A4 Priority Group.

"We have also received word that LGUs who have already covered the majority of those in the A1 to A3 classification will also begin vaccinating those in the A4 group," Romulo-Puyat says in a statement.

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