Metro Manila (Fintech Zoom Philippines, May 17) — The Philippine Red Cross will have to charge the public ₱3,500 for every two doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine when its orders arrive, its chairman, Senator Richard Gordon said on Monday.
Speaking at a media forum hosted by the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines, Gordon said the PRC ordered a total of 200,000 doses from American pharmaceutical firm Moderna, enough to give 100,000 people their first and second shots. Some 1,500 doses are expected to be delivered by July.
Gordon said the PRC as a humanitarian organization does not “make money,” but has to recover from the expenses it incurred from securing the Moderna supply, as well as the costs of administering it to the public.
“I’d like to set the record straight,” he said. “Right now, we will be charging ₱3,500 to recover the cost of our payment of our vaccines from Moderna. But at the same time pay for our administrative cost.”
“We have to have PPEs, we have to have our people fed and they have to have support in terms of the vaccination,” he added, “and if you count the other things like electricity, and the ambulance, etc., I think that’s a fair thing do.”
Gordon said the PRC has also administered AstraZeneca and Sinovac vaccines for free, from the initial supply provided by the government. The reservation line, however, is “getting longer and longer everyday” for those who preferred Moderna, he explained.
“The less people out there with no vaccination, the better,” he said.
Fintech Zoom Philippines has requested for comment from the Food and Drug Administration on the PRC’s plan to ask payment for the COVID-19 shots considering that Moderna only has an Emergency Use Authorization, not a Certificate of Product Registration.
Meanwhile, Gordon said the government will “start passing on” some of the vaccines to the PRC, amid concerns that 1.5 million AstraZeneca doses donated to the Philippines through COVAX are set to expire in June.
The senator said this was the result of a meeting with Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr., and testing czar Vince Dizon last Saturday.