US should compete with China's 'vaccine diplomacy' - Drilon

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 05 2021 01:47 PM

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MANILA - The United States should compete with the "vaccine diplomacy" that China employs as it battles for world influence, Sen. Franklin Drilon said Wednesday.

"They can compete with China and do exactly what China is doing, also engage in—if they want to do so—vaccine diplomacy," Drilon told ANC's Headstart.

"This is the world order. China is an economic power today and would continue to exert its influence, not only over this part of the world, but worldwide. So, what is there for the United States but they should compete with China insofar as world influence is concerned and one available venue is the vaccine," he said.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has been inoculated with a vaccine by China-based Sinopharm. The drug, although not yet granted an emergency use authorization in the country, was allowed for "compassionate use" for the Presidential Security Group.

The Philippines also earlier received 1 million doses of Sinovac vaccines from the Chinese government.

The United States, meanwhile, has donated to the COVAX facility, which aims to fund equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for poorer countries.