Private sector seeks more Covid vaccines from AstraZeneca

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The private sector has forged an agreement with United Kingdom-based AstraZeneca for a second batch of vaccines for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Jose Maria “Joey” Concepcion 3rd said on Sunday that he and the UK-based drug firm approved the deal for a second batch of Covid-19 vaccine stocks that also would be funded by private firms.

“We are happy to announce that with enough support, and of course, demand coming from the private sector, the second part is already in the works,” Concepcion said.

Two weeks earlier, AstraZeneca, the private sector and government concluded an agreement for 2.6 million doses of the company’s Covid-19 vaccine that the private sector will fund at P626 million. About 30 private firms pooled their resources for the effort.

Based on the first agreeement, half of the Covid-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca will be donated to the govenment and the balance for the officers and employees of the private firms who are part of the effort.

“This development is really fantastic. I thank the Astra group for their efforts for really helping the Philippines,” Concepcion said.

Based on ongoing tests by AstraZeneca, its Covid-19 vaccine was 70-percent effective. It earlier said that it was ready to offer its Covid-19 vaccine at a “no-profit” pledge so it can be priced lower so poorer nations can afford it.

Earlier reports showed one dose of its vaccine was $2.50 compared to the $10 to $20 offered by other pharmaceutical companies. CURRENTPH

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