The national government has finally signed a supply agreement which would ensure the delivery of 30 million vaccine doses from United States biotechnology company Novavax, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. disclosed Tuesday, March 16.
Galvez, who was fresh from an official trip to India last March 12, said the Novavax vaccines may arrive in the country in the third or fourth quarter of 2021.
“We signed the supply agreement where the Serum Institute of India will supply 30 million doses of Novavax to our country. Most likely, [it will arrive] on the third quarter or fourth quarter,” Galvez said in Filipino at a virtual press briefing.
The vaccine czar visited India last week to expedite the government’s negotiation with the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, for the procurement of anti-COVID-19 vaccines from Novavax.
Last March 11, Novavax said that their protein-based anti-COVID-19 vaccine, known as NVX-CoV2373, has an efficacy rate of 96 percent against the original version of the coronavirus.
The American biotechnology complay added that its vaccine was also 86 percent effective against the B117 variant, or the more infectious coronavirus variant from the United Kingdom.
Novavax, however, has yet to secure an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the Philippines’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which, Galvez said, might be released if it obtains the approval from the United Kingdom and United States.
“We are just awaiting for the approval of its EUA in the United Kingdom, United States, and here in our country,” he said.
Aside from the signing of the supply deal for the delivery of Novavax vaccines, around 2.3 million vaccine doses are also set to be delivered to the country within the month.
Galvez said that the delivery of 979,200 doses from AstraZeneca pharmaceutical company was tentatively set on March 22. This would be the second tranche of vaccine supplies that the government secured from the World Health Organization-led Covax facility.
Meanwhile, a total of 400,000 doses of CoronaVac vaccines from Sinovac Biotech will likely be delivered on March 24. The vaccines are part of the second batch of donations by the Chinese drugmaker to the country. A million doses of Sinovac vaccines that were procured by the government may be transported on March 28.