VACCINE czar Carlito Galvez Jr. on Sunday, January 31, 2021, announced that the Philippines will get over 9.4 million doses of Pfizer–BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccines against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) under the Covax initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO).
In a statement, Galvez said he received a letter from Covax managing director Aurelia Nguyen on Sunday, which indicated that a total of 9,407,400 doses have been allotted for the Philippines.
Of the total, 5.6 million doses are expected to be delivered within the first quarter of 2021. The rest will be delivered in the second quarter.
The Philippines will also receive 5,500,800 to 9,290,400 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the first two quarters of 2021. The first delivery has also been scheduled for mid-February.
These are, however, just indicative volumes since actual delivery will depend on supply, Galvez stressed.
An EUA allows a vaccine that is still under development to be administered in the country for the duration of a public health emergency. In this case, the EUA is good for the entire 2021.
The FDA, however, has yet to issue an EUA for Sinovac. The Philippines has secured a total of 25 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine for delivery in 2021.
“We would, therefore, like to urge all Filipinos to set their fears aside and have themselves inoculated once these vaccines are available,” Galvez said.
“Again, we would like to assure our countrymen that all the vaccines the government will be administering must pass the stringent selection and evaluation process of the Vaccine Expert Panel, FDA and the Department of Health,” he added.
The vaccines from Covax will be administered on healthcare workers, medical-related personnel and other frontliners.
“This positive news is a testament that under the Covax facility, it ensures equitable distribution of vaccines throughout the globe, which bodes well with the Duterte’s administration principle of “walang maiiwan, walang iwanan” (no one will be left behind),” Galvez said.
Aside from these, the government is also expecting delivery of 17 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine for the private sector and the local government units.
The government has also secured 30 million doses of the Novavax vaccine, which will be manufactured by the Serum Institute of India.
Galvez also announced that he was finalizing an agreement for 20 million doses from Moderna.
Negotiations are ongoing with the Russian Direct Investment Fund for the supply of the Gamaleya vaccine and with Janssen Pharmaceuticals.
The government targets to procure at least 148 million doses to inoculate at least 70 percent of the Philippine population of over 108 million and achieve herd immunity against Covid-19. (Marites Villamor-Ilano / SunStar Philippines)