DOH denies Pemberton pardon tied to access to US-made COVID-19 vaccines

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 11 2020 11:35 AM

MANILA — The Department of Health on Friday said there are no strings attached to COVID-19 vaccines being developed in the United States.

This as Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque implied that the absolute pardon given to convicted killer US Marine Lance Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton upheld greater national interest and possible access to vaccines developed by the US.

“We have had discussions already with manufacturers from the US. No conditions were provided or given para sa atin (for us),” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a virtual forum.

Vergeire said all vaccines undergo the Philippines’ regulatory process.

“Katulad ng lagi naming sinasabi lahat ng bakuna na papasok dito para masiguro nating safe 'yan at masiguro nating magiging epektibo 'yan against COVID-19 and will benefit the population has to go through the regulatory process,” she said.

(Like what we always say of the vaccines entering the country, to ensure that they are safe and effective against COVID-19 and that they will benefit the population, they have to go through the regulatory process.

Of the top 10 vaccine frontrunners, based on the World Health Organization’s draft vaccine landscape document, three are being developed by American companies: Moderna, Pfizer and Novavax.