Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. has revealed the list of COVID-19 vaccines that will arrive in the country beginning this February, including those from Pfizer and Sinovac.
Galvez said that the vaccine candidate manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech (United States and Germany) will likely be the first to arrive, with the expected shipment happening sometime in February.
He said the Pfizer vaccines will be delivered through an agreement with the Covax Facility, a worldwide collaboration for the development and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines where the Philippines is a part of. Covax Facility is led by the World Health Organization (WHO).
“Nakausap po namin kahapon ang COVAX Facility. May possibility po na February po na magdala po ang COVAX dito, WHO at saka UNICEF ng Pfizer (Sir we talked to the Covax Facility yesterday. There is a possibility that by February, the Covax, WHO, and UNICEF will be able to bring (the) Pfizer (vaccine) here),” he said during President Duterte’s public address on Wednesday night.
Although Galvez did not mention how many doses of Pfizer vaccines will arrive next month, he said around 42 million doses have already been secured as the Covax Facility guarantees access of up to 20 percent of the population of a participating country.
He said this will benefit around 21 to 22 million Filipinos since two doses of the vaccine are required be taken by an individual to get its maximum efficacy.
The government is also in independent talks with Pfizer for the delivery of about 25 to 40 million more doses of ots vaccines.
Aside from Pfizer, Galvez said Chinese manufacturer, Sinovac, will also send the initial batch of 50,000 doses of its vaccine candidate on February 20. The vaccine czar earlier said that the government has secured at least 25 million doses of vaccines from Sinovac.
“Nagbigay na po ng commitment, napirmahan ko na po ‘yung term sheet at ipinadala ko po na sa Hong Kong ‘yung kopya ng aking term sheet na napirmahan for 25 million ([Sinovac] has already gave a commitment as I signed the term sheet and sent it to Hong Kong for the supply of 25 million [doses]),” he said.
The Sinovac vaccines were purchased through a bilateral arrangement between the government and the Chinese firm.
“Kami po ay natutuwa na talagang ang China ay binigyan po tayo ng tinatawag na magandang — magandang pagkakataon. At sila lang po ang nagbigay sa atin ng mga talagang definitive dates ng delivery buwan-buwan (We are very happy that China really gave us a good opportunity. They are the only ones who gave us a definitive date of delivery every month),” Galvez said.
After the first batch of 50,000 doses, Galvez said Sinovac will send 950,000 doses in March, and about two million doses in the following months unitl the target supply is achieved.
Galvez said AstraZeneca-Oxford (United Kingdom) will also supply about 17 million doses of its vaccines come second semester of the year.
The national government, represented by Galvez, and the private sector inked another tripartite agreement with AstraZeneca for the delivery of 17 million doses of its vaccines on Thursday.
This came after the first tripartite agreement by the national government with AstraZeneca in November 2020 for the supply of 2.6 million vaccine doses.
“Ito po naman ay made-deliver ng mga second semester, most likely July, August, September (These will be delivered by second semester most likely July, August, or September),” Galvez said.
The government is also in final stages of negotiations with Johnson and Johnson (Belgium-United States) for the supply of its candidate vaccine, Janssen.
“Iyong J&J nasa final stages na rin po tayo at naghihintay na lang po tayo ng approval ng mga kontrata (We are also in the final stages [of negotiation] with J&J and we are just awaiting for the approval of the contracts),” Galvez said.
Further, the government has also communicated with Moderna (United States) for the possible supply of its candidate vaccine, possibly through a tripartite agreement with the local government units (LGUs).
Gamaleya (Russia) has also committed to provide 50 to 100 million doses if the government will be able to raise the public’s trust on its immunization program, Galvez said.
He said they have an on-going negotitation with Gamaleya through the Russian Direct Investment Fund to close the deal.
“Nangako po sila na kung mapapalakas po natin ‘yung uptake ng ating public (They vowed that if we will strengthen the public’s uptake), they even promised to deliver even 50 to 100 million doses,” Galvez noted.
Through the National Vaccine Roadmap, the national government aims to inoculate 50 to 70 million Filipinos this year to achieve a herd immunity and stem the spread of COVID-19.