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Netizens question Sinovac per-dose price in PH—which is at three times the cost of other Asian countries who got the same vaccine

Is the hashtag #MayKickbackSaSinovac being proven true all over again? Also, what exactly is BFF price, and did we actually get it?

While netizens are still puzzled at the thought of the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) putting their trust on CoronaVax, another major blow against the Chinese-made vaccine has appeared on social media.

Netizens have been sharing reports from countries like India and Indonesia—two countries who have also acquired Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine—detailing how they got their CoronaVax doses at one-third of the price the Philippines got per dose.

Price-per-dose numbers in India and Indonesia for CoronaVax, according to reports from India Today and The Jakarta Post, are at 1,027 Rs and 200,000 Rp respectively.

That’s P675 in local currency for India’s price and P684 for Indonesia’s based on exchange rates from popular foreign exchange rate website

Reports in the country, on the other hand, have placed a single dose of CoronaVax at almost three times that price.

Roque, in his online briefing held on Thursday, January 14, would claim that the Philippines got its CoronaVax doses at a BFF or best-friend-forever price.

“I’m not at liberty, but I can say na sa lahat ng o-order-in natin, hindi po pinakamahal ang Sinovac… pangatlong pinakamahal po siya among the six brands,” said Roque.

He would also highlight how China can essentially “fix prices” as a “communist” country thanks to their prices being driven by market forces.

Pfizer gets green light; Sinovac cannot even complete requirements

Netizens, however, were still not convinced, especially when news broke of American firm Pfizer securing an emergency use authority (EUA) for its COVID-19 vaccine.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine is the first to secure an EUA through Executive Order No. 121 s. 2020.

In a statement, FDA Director General Eric Domingo said one of the factors for the approval of Pfizer’s EUA is its high efficacy rate of 95% from its phase 3 trials.

Domingo, however, would warn the public that the EUA does not mean Pfizer’s vaccine will be available for purchase, as it is different from a Certificate of Product Registration.

He also warns the public against non-health professionals administering the vaccine, as the roll-out of the vaccine worldwide has identified “severe allergic reactions” in select individuals.

Pfizer applied for its EUA back in December 2020.

Sinovac, on the other hand, only applied for its EUA on January 13, though approval for Sinovac might be delayed due to its lack of results from phase 3 trials.

Sinovac phase 3 trials in other countries have registered efficacy rates only up to 78%, with Brazil registering the lowest so far at 50.4%.

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