Tue, 09 Mar 2021

MANILA, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has noted the safety of vaccines development by China's biopharmaceutical companies, defending his government's decision to buy Chinese vaccines.

Duterte said in a late-night televised national address on Monday that China's vaccines, including those from Sinovac and Sinopharm, are being used in Indonesia, Turkey, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Brazil and that there have been no deaths reported so far.

Duterte said on the same occasion last week that the Chinese vaccines are "safe, sure, and secure."

The Philippine government has said that it has secured 25 million doses of Sinovac-developed CoronaVac vaccines, which is seeking an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration of the Philippines.

The Philippines is in talks with at least seven vaccine makers to procure 148 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in 2021.

It aims to vaccinate 50 million to 70 million people, or more than 60 percent of the total population this year, to achieve herd immunity.

The Department of Health (DOH) of the Philippines reported 2,163 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, the highest in more than two months in the Southeast Asian country.

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