The expected delivery to the country of 525,600 vaccine doses from British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca on Monday, March 1 will no longer push through, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. confirmed.
Galvez, the designated vaccine czar and chief implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19, said the delivery of the AstraZeneca vaccines was delayed due to shortage in global supply.
“We have to understand that European countries and other developing nations are fighting over the supply of AstraZeneca vaccines,” Galvez said Sunday, Feb.28 after top government officials witnessed the arrival of 600,000 doses of vaccines from China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III made a separate confirmation about the delay in the delivery of AstraZeneca vaccines.
He said the national government may have to wait for one more week before the jabs are delivered to the country.
In previous media interviews, Galvez said that the country was fighting for the remaining 15 percent of the global supply of COVID-19 vaccines.
He said 80 percent of the global supply was already secured by rich countries while five percent went to the COVAX facility–a World Health Organization (WHO)-led global initiative aimed at ensuring the equitable access of all countries to COVID-19 vaccines.
Nonetheless, Galvez said that the government will be willing to wait for the much-anticipated vaccines.
“Naiintindihan naman namin. Makakapaghintay naman tayo (We understand it. We can wait),” he said.
The AstraZeneca jabs were supposed to arrive at Monday noon.