Business magnate Manuel V. Pangilinan has announced his group’s interest in establishing vaccine production in the country, as he believes that booster shots against Covid19 are an inevitability that must be addressed early on.
At a recent Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) stockholders meeting, Pangilinan mentioned that they are at the basement level of the endeavor, and are looking to partner with global vaccine manufacturers to not only locally produce jabs against Covid19 but diseases such as polio, influenza, and chicken pox as well.
“The vaccine booster period will be seven years so if we’re at it, we might as well manufacture vaccines against influenza, polio, chickenpox but if we want to build a facility for vaccines, we need to partner with international pharmaceutical companies,” Pangilinan stated.
The businessman also spoke about how the virus will not just miraculously vanish over time, hence his interest in vaccine booster shots.
So far the MVP group has made headway in its vaccination efforts for employees and dependents.
All 18 hospitals under MPIC’s Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings Inc. (MPHHI) have managed to administer the first dose of either Sinovac or AstraZeneca to 80% of their worker population as of March 23.
The group has also placed orders for additional doses of Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines, which they also plan to supply to third parties.
Although the need for booster shots is still under debate by medical experts worldwide, local production of vaccines against Covid19 would be a step towards self-sufficiency as global supplies continue to remain in dire demand.
As such, other pharmaceutical companies such as Glovax Biotech, IG/IP Biotech, Dr. Zen Biotech, and United Laboratories (Unilab) have also announced plans for the creation of “fill and finish” (the last step in production) vaccine plants here in the country.
Although the national government aims to vaccinate 70% of the population this year, only 3.65% have thus far received their first dose, while 1.11% have gotten both doses.
Photo: Filipino Times