Apparently, international relations can affect the price of vaccines. On Jan. 14, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque announced that the China-developed Sinovac vaccine is not the most expensive vaccine in the market.
While the spokesperson did not disclose the exact cost of the Sinovac vaccine, citing a confidentiality clause in the agreement, he assured the public that the estimated vaccine price—which was way higher than other brands—was a scheme drawn up by the “opposition.”
“I can assure you, nabigyan po tayo ng presyo na ukol lamang sa kanilang BFF. Hindi po pinakamahal ang Sinovac. Paninira lang po ng oposisyon ‘yan,” he said in an online briefing.
“Kung hindi po ako nagkakamali, pangatlong pinakamahal lang po sya out of six brands. It is in the mid-range. Wala pong katuturan ‘yang mga nginangawa ng mga kritiko na napakamahal daw ng Sinovac,” he added.
Neither Roque nor vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. can legally disclose the cost of each dose for the Sinovac vaccine, but both have reiterated that price was a factor in the government’s decision to acquire 25 million doses of it.
“Kaya po namin napili ang Sinovac dahil medyo mura po ito,” said Galvez in a separate televised briefing.
This goes directly against the reported estimates gathered by Sen. Sonny Angara’s office on the possible market price of the vaccines. According to reports, Sinovac is priced at around P3,600, while AstraZeneca—which most local government units chose for their constituents—costs only P610.