Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III has debunked the claims of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. that Philippines’ lost its chance to secure 10 million doses of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine from American firm Pfizer. 

“There is no such thing as dropping the ball,” Duque responded to Locsin’s statement that someone dropped the ball on acquiring vaccine supply from Pfizer that was scheduled to arrive in the Philippines by January 2021.

“Negotiations are ongoing, tuloy-tuloy po,” Duque added.

Earlier this week, Locsin posted on his Twitter account that somebody committed a mistake which affected the arrival of Pfizer vaccines to the country but he refused to drop the name of the culprit.

Locsin also mentioned that these vaccines are funded by the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.

Meanwhile, the health chief explained that the DOH signed a Confidentiality Disclosure Agreement (CDA) with Pfizer in October. Vaccine czar and Secretary Carlito Galvez also signed the CDA with Pfizer this month.

“Secretary Galvez is best to speak on what stage our negotiations are in,” Duque said.

The list of Covid-19 vaccine supply deals will be discussed by Galvez during a media forum with the Health Department on Friday, according to Duque. 

The country already acquired 2.6 million Covid-19 vaccine doses from AstraZeneca, a supply good for one million people. These vaccines were funded by the private sector for donation to the Philippine government.

Pfizer together with BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca are the current vaccines proven to have at least 90% effective after human trials. RJ Espartinez