The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has made reservations for 200,000 doses of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Moderna vaccines.
Senator Richard J. Gordon, PRC chairman and CEO, revealed this during a DWIZ radio interview where he stated that the national government has not offered to donate a portion of the China-made Sinovax and AstraZeneca to PRC.
The Sinovac vaccines were donated by China while AstraZeneca vaccines were donated by the COVAX facility arranged the World Health Organization (WHO).
Gordon said PRC chose Moderna because it has a higher efficacy rate compared to Sinovac’s whose stated efficacy rate is 50.4 percent.
He also said that many have so far attested of the efficacy of Moderna, a US-made vaccine.
The Moderna shipment was, according to Gordon, scheduled to arrive in May or June.
He, likewise, stated that another preferred vaccine is made by Johnson & Johnson which only needs one jab and its emergency use was only recently authorized by the US Food and Drug Authority.
Other vaccines require two doses in a span of four weeks. Gordon said some firms have asked PRC to include their companies in the PRC purchase orders but he discouraged this arrangement.
He stressed that PRC would accept any COVID-19 vaccine if donated. Gordon, however, emphasized that Sinovac is not advisable for senior citizens.
Gordon recalled that a senior citizen he knew died even after being vaccinated with a Chinese-made vaccine that could have been bought by friends in China.
In a related development, Gordon said the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHilHealth) owes PRC some P700 million for its COVID-19 testing operations.
He said delays by PhilHealth remittance of its debts is costing PRC money in interest rates as it buys supplies for its testing operations.