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MPIC eyes other global vaccine partners

The Metro Pacific group may consider other global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19 vaccine partners as it looks to invest in local manufacturing. 

“As a matter of principle, the Metro Pacific group is interested in the local manufacture of vaccines, also the boosters that would follow the vaccine application,” Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said at its annual stockholders’ meeting on Friday. 

He said the COVID-19 vaccine introduced during the group’s first meeting with Glovax Biotech Corp. was “one we are not familiar with,” adding that he is not sure it has government approval. 

“We are open to other vaccine producers globally.” 

Glovax last month said that Mr. Pangilinan is interested in investing in its proposed P7.5 billion vaccine manufacturing facility in the country. Glovax officials said they were applying for an emergency use authorization for EuCorVac-19, a COVID-19 vaccine that is being developed by South Korean firm EuBiologics. 

Mr. Pangilinan noted that Filipinos are interested in particular brands of COVID-19 vaccines. 

Six out of 10 Filipinos prefer coronavirus vaccines made in the US, according to a Social Weather Stations (SWS) poll. The Chinese Sinovac Biotech Ltd. topped the list of brands preferred by Filipinos at 39%, followed by the Pfizer, Inc. vaccine at 32%.  

MPIC is one of three key Philippine units of First Pacific, the others being Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT, Inc. Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — J.P.Ibañez 

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