The US government is very much willing to share with the Philippines any COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics once these become available.
This was one of the topics discussed by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and his US counterpart Mark Esper during their telephone conversation on June 12.
"Secretary Esper mentioned that the development of vaccines and therapeutics in the US is making very good progress and expressed their willingness to share them with US allies and partners once available," Lorenzana said in a statement on Sunday.
China’S President Xi Jinping has also promised to give the Philippines priority access to a vaccine against COVID-19 once it develops one, the Palace said Friday.
“President Xi reiterated China’s commitment to the international community to make any vaccine it develops a global public good and that as a friendly neighbor, China certainly considers the Philippines as a priority,” the Palace said in a statement.
The Palace said Xi made the assurance during a 38-minute phone conversation with President Rodrigo Duterte last Thursday.
On Saturday, Food and Drug Administration Director General Eric Domingo said it was a good move for the Philippines to participate in the global clinical trials for a COVID-19 cure as this will increase the country's chance of securing a vaccine.
"Ang isa rin po kasing magandang strategy ay sumali tayo sa clinical trial pa lamang, unang una masusubukan na natin siya sa mga Pilipino kung maganda ang epekto niya," Domingo told Dobol B sa News TV.
He said President Rodrigo Duterte had been in talks with other countries regarding the Philippines' access to vaccines once they were available.
Malacañang had previously welcomed news of clinical trials for a possible vaccine against the coronavirus disease.
Lorenzana also took the opportunity to share the Philippines’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic and expressed his appreciation for the medical assistance and donations of medical supplies by the US government.
Esper, on the other hand, expressed his appreciation for the DND’s support for the Philippine government’s decision to suspend the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement.
Both defense officials also discussed the security situation in the South China Sea, counter-terrorism, and logistics cooperation, particularly on the capability upgrades of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.