MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday expressed confidence that China will be the first country to be able to develop a vaccine against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
In a briefing streamed online, Duterte said China is already working on developing a vaccine, and it may be available by September.
"Ang target nila is September. I think China will be able to distribute if I'm not mistaken and the other countries are catching up," he said.
He also believes China will be among the countries who will be able to release the vaccine first.
"Kaya lang itong China, hindi ito hambog, wala itong ere, but they work. (China, they are not arrogant, they are not egoistic, but they work.) I'm very sure that they will be the first one, one of the countries that would be able come up with the vaccine," Duterte said.
Duterte earlier said he would not allow the resumption of face-to-face classes without a vaccine against COVID-19.
While hundreds of biotech companies all over the world are racing to be the first to develop COVID-19 vaccine, there is no certainty the preventive medicine will be ready by next year, an expert earlier said.
The World Health Organization Philippines Office has also said that a vaccine against COVID-19 can take at least over a year to develop.