PH has reserve supply of COVID vaccines under term sheets with manufacturers — Nograles

Published February 15, 2021, 11:15 AM

by Genalyn Kabiling

There is nothing to worry about the country’s coronavirus vaccine supply even though the government has yet to sign a supply agreement with the manufacturers, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Monday.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles

According to Nograles, the government has secured a reserve supply of COVID-19 vaccines under the term sheets initially forged with various drug manufacturers. The supply agreement, he added, may be finalized once the local drug regulators give the green light for the emergency use of the vaccines.

“What we signed is term sheets and that term sheet, according to (vaccine czar) Secretary (Carlito) Galvez, is already a commitment kumbaga so it is not something to worry about because the term sheet already commits the number of doses na magkakaroon tayo dito sa Pilipinas (that we will have in the Philippines),” Nogralse said over CNN Philippines Monday, Feb. 15.

“It’s like already reserved to the Philippines based on those term sheets and then the supply agreement will come forthwith,” said Nograles, co-chair of the government’s policy-making task force in battling the pandemic.

Nograles said certain conditions must be met before any coronavirus vaccine is used in the country. The vaccines must pass the scrutiny of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for safety and efficacy.

“I think presumably the supply agreement will come after all of these, like the FDA approval natin. The EUA or emergency use authorization would be issued by the FDA so there are certain conditions that have to be met,” he said.

“Although nagkaroon ng term sheet with different vaccine brands, not all the vaccine brands already have an EUA,” he added.

So far, two vaccine brands, namely those developed by US-based Pfizer and British drugmaker AstraZeneca, have gained emergency use approval from the FDA in the country.

Nograles said the emergency approval of the Sinovac vaccines is expected to be issued soon. Other vaccine makers like Gamaleya Research Institute and Moderna are also expected to submit their application before FDA.

“So that’s basically what happens. There’s a term sheet agreement on how many doses you need, ang na-i-order namin (we ordered) and then it passes through conditions like FDA approval ng kanilang EUA and then that’s where the ball gets running in terms of the signing of the supply agreement,” he said.

“But as far as supply is concerned, na-reserve na ‘yun for the Philippines (it has been reserved for the Philippines),” he added.

Galvez recently told a Senate inquiry that the government has not yet finalized any supply agreement but has secured 108 million doses of vaccines from different manufacturers under initial pacts. Supply deals with Sinovac, Novavax and Moderna are already being finalized.

Around 600,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines, donated by China, are expected to arrive in the country on Feb. 23.

The government remained hopeful about the delivery of the Pfizer and AstraZeneca supplies under the World Health Organization-backed COVAX facility this month.