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Pompeo to help PH get vaccine

Teodoro Locsin Jr. and Michael Pompeo
Teodoro Locsin Jr. and Michael Pompeo

FOREIGN Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. yesterday revealed US State Secretary Michael Pompeo will help the Philippines get back a “fraction” of the botched deal for 10 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer.

Locsin tweeted “lotsa laughs at others. But on the most serious note, I asked him (Pompeo) to help Babe (Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez) and I get back even a fraction of the 10 million doses of Pfizer after someone dropped the ball. He’ll give it his best try.”

The Secretary had a phone conversation with the American top diplomat on Friday night during which they also discussed opportunities to further reinforce the US-Philippine alliance and the binding nature of the 2016 arbitral tribunal award on all parties in the South China Sea, US Principal Deputy Spokesperson Cale Brown said.

Aside from Pfizer, Romualdez the other day said he is also working to secure vaccines from American biotechnology firms Moderna and Arcturus.

Earlier, Locsin disclosed that the Philippines was supposed to secure some 10 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine as early as January 2021.

The deal, however, did not push through after an unnamed Philippine official “dropped the ball”.

Senator Panfilo Lacson said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III failed to act quickly on the confidentiality disclosure agreement (CDA) with Pfizer, missing the opportunity to get an early delivery date for Manila.

Duque has denied that he botched the Philippine bid for the Pfizer vaccine.