PH officials, British drugmaker AstraZeneca discuss access to vaccines

Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 21 2020 02:57 AM

MANILA - Officials of the Philippine government and AstraZeneca, a UK-based company developing a COVID-19 vaccine, talked about access to affordable vaccines on Friday during the visit of a UK minister to Manila.

UK Minister of State for Asia Nigel Adams met with Foreign Affairs Sec. Teodoro Locsin Jr., Health Sec. Francisco Duque III, and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. along with AstraZeneca Philippines Country President Lotis Ramin. 

“Pleased to facilitate 🇬🇧🇵🇭discussions today on access to affordable vaccines with @teddyboylocsin, vaccine Tsar Sec Galvez & Dr @SecDuque alongside @AstraZeneca Phillippines Country President, Lotis Ramin,” Adams tweeted after his first visit to the Philippines.

“It’s been a real privilege for me to visit the Philippines—the enthusiasm has been great. We’ve had some brilliant conversations including with Secretaries Locsin on foreign affairs and Duque on health workers, and facilitating discussions with AstraZeneca—a British company developing a vaccine,” he was quoted as saying in a tweet by the UK Embassy in Manila. 

The British minister said “it was crucial discussing with the Red Cross how UK money is being used to help people’s lives affected by typhoons” that have passed through the Philippines.

UK Ambassador Daniel Pruce described the visit of Adams as “packed” with discussions on a wide range of issues including “education, ASEAN, climate change, COVID-19 vaccines, humanitarian assistance and development policy."

“A packed visit by @nadams, Minister of State for Asia at @FCDOGovUK. Valuable discussions of a wide range of important issues including education, ASEAN, climate change, COVID-19 vaccines, humanitarian assistance and development policy,” he tweeted. 

Locsin said this was “one of the most productive meetings I know: concrete across a wide variety of critical concerns."

“This was a great meeting with Nigel Adams; so much done; especially AstraZeneca who was present. Sec. Galvez, Sec. Duque and I met him and had fruitful talks,” he tweeted. 

Adams meanwhile signed a statement of commitment with Commission on Higher Education deputy executive director Lily Milla “sealing the UK’s strong partnership with the Philippines in the area of education.”

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