Red Cross says not 'selling' Moderna jabs after Gordon statement


Posted at May 17 2021 10:59 PM

MANILA - The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) on Monday clarified it is not "selling" Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine doses.

The organization's governor, Maria Carissa Coscolluela, said in a statement they are "not in the business of selling vaccines".

She said Red Cross members and donors "can bear the cost of the vaccines, which is at US$26.83 per dose."

PRC chair Sen. Richard Gordon earlier Monday told ANC's Headstart some 200,000 doses from the US pharmaceutical giant are set to arrive next month.

"If we are going to wait for the [government's] vaccines to come, mahuhuli (we will be late)," he said.

"Those of you who cannot wait, you pay P3,500 and that's 2 doses already," he said.

Coscolluela later explained Gordon never really said that the Red Cross will be selling vaccines, but he only stressed the need "to act fast and vaccinate as many people as we can" in the Philippines.

"What he said was that the PRC procured Moderna COVID-19 vaccines and intends to vaccinate Red Cross members and donors, who are also our members, who are willing to bear the cost of the vaccines, which was US$26.83 per dose," she said.

"The PRC is a humanitarian organization and is not in the business of selling any vaccines. It does not charge for anything that it got free."

Gordon said, meanwhile, that the PRC also procured jabs from AstraZeneca, but the vaccines are not expected to arrive until next year.

"With India tightening the [vaccine supply] line, mahirap (it's hard)," he said.

While the PRC is expected to begin its vaccination program soon, Gordon said he is not in favor of mass inoculation programs.

"I'm afraid of mass vaccinations... Lilinya yung mga tao, maghahawa-hawa yan (People might get infected with the disease while they are in line)," he said.

"What you need is more vaccination centers na supervised... You cannot vaccinate 30,000 in one area only. I think it is gonna cause a lot of problems," he said.

The government earlier approved a plan to build a mega vaccination site in Parañaque City to accelerate the Philippines' daily vaccination rate, which stands at 63,000 daily.

The Philippines hopes to inoculate at least 50 million individuals by the end of the year to achieve herd immunity against the disease that has infected some 1 million people in the country.