DEPARTMENT of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Friday, September 11, 2020, clarified that vaccine manufacturers from the United States did not request for the release of US soldier Joseph Scott Pemberton.

In a virtual press briefing, Vergeire said no conditions were laid down when US companies with vaccine candidates against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) offered access to their products.

“We have had discussions already with manufacturers from the US. Hindi po tayo naka-receive ng kahit anumang condition na ganito based from the discussions that we have had with different manufacturers from the US,” Vergeire said.

Vergeire explained that vaccines coming from other countries have to go through the DOH’s “regulatory process” to ensure safety and effectiveness.

“Katulad ng lagi naming sinasabi, lahat ng bakuna na papasok dito, para masiguro natin na safe ‘yan at magiging epektibo against Covid-19 and will benefit the population, has to go through our regulatory process,” she said.

Vergeire issued the remark after Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to grant Pemberton an absolute pardon might be a way for the Philippines to secure a Covid-19 vaccine from the US.

Among the vaccine manufacturers in the US that are currently in talks with the Philippines are Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Moderna.

In a previous media forum, Vergeire said DOH was reviewing the confidential disclosure agreements presented by Pfizer and Moderna. (With HDT/SunStar Philippines)