MANILA - The price of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine may increase after United States drug regulators allowed its commercial use this week, an official said Thursday.
Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion said this could happen in the wake of the US Food and Drug Administration's "full approval" of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, which may allow the purchase of the brand in pharmacies.
Full approval of American-made Pfizer by the Philippines' FDA is likely with the decision of its US counterpart. Concepcion says full approval of Moderna could follow suit.
The two brands are currently in use in the country's inoculation program under emergency use authorization.
"We're also asking AstraZeneca na are you going to apply for full approval. Siyempre sa amin ayaw namin kasi mas mura ang zero profit nila na $5 'no, 'pag full approval na 'yan baka tumaas ang commercial price," Concepcion said.
(We are also asking AstraZeneca if they are going to apply for full approval. Of course, we don't want that because their zero profit of $5 is cheaper. A price increase is possible if there is full approval of the vaccines.)
The US FDA on Monday said Pfizer vaccines have secured full approval in a bid to encourage residents to get their jabs amid vaccine hesitancy and increasing cases due to the COVID-19 Delta variant.
Concepcion also urged the government to plan the purchase of COVID-19 booster shots as early as now, even as it prioritizes inoculating more Filipinos with the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.
"Importante kasi dito, sa buong mundo dahil sa Delta variant, agawan ngayon sa mga bakuna. So there is short supply, even delays. And that's normal. So we have to plan ahead and make sure that we reserve whatever is needed down the road," ani Concepcion.
(There is a race to buy vaccines across the world because of the Delta variant. So there is a short supply, even delays, and that's normal. So we have to plan ahead and make sure that we reserve whatever is needed down the road.)
Businessmen also have plans to buy booster shots for mid-2022, he added.