Galvez ‘very grateful’ to private sector for COVID-19 vaccines donations

Published March 27, 2021, 4:50 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. has expressed gratitude to the private sector for donating to the government 50 percent of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines they procured–the donation is actually a mandatory condition in order for private companies to buy British-Swede vaccine AstraZeneca.

This picture shows vials of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine at a pharmacy in Paris on February 25, 2021. – Private practitioners in France started vaccinating vulnerable patients between 50 and 64 at their medical offices on February 25, as part of a new stage in the country’s Covid-19 vaccination campaign. (Photo by Christophe ARCHAMBAULT / AFP)

“We are very grateful to the private sector, especially to the group led by Mr. Joey Concepcion, Ms. Tessie Sy-Coson, Fernando and Jaime Ayala, Mr. Enrique Razon, Mr. Lance Gokongwei, Mr. Ramon S. Ang, and other business conglomerate for volunteering to give 50 percent of their vaccine supply purchased from Astrazeneca to the national government,” said Galvez, vaccine czar and chief implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19.

Galvez made the remark as he emphasized that the government did not require private sectors to give half of their supply to the government if they buy vaccines under a tripartite agreement.

“This donation was not imposed nor required. The private firms were the ones which generously offered to give a percentage of the vaccines they procured to the government while also ensuring an adequate supply for their employees,” he said.

The country has a current supply of 1,525,600 COVID-19 vaccines which all came from donations since the ones procured by the government have yet to be delivered.

The supply includes 600,000 doses of CoronaVac vaccines from Sinovac Biotech which were donated by China on February 28; another 400,000 doses from China’s Sinovac given on March 24; and 525,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from the Covax Facility delivered on March 4 and 7.
The government is anticipating the arrival of the first batch of vaccines it procured — one million doses of CoronaVac from China — which may arrive on Monday, March 29.

Concepcion, the Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and founder of the “Go Negosyo” Foundation, previously said that the private acknowledges the need to vaccinate as many people as possible to allow the nation’s economy to recover faster.

To recall, the private sector bought six million doses while local government units (LGUs) procured 11 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines in November 2020 and January 2021 through tripartite agreements.

The delivery of the vaccines will be made in tranches, with the first tranche consisted of 2.6 million doses bought by the private sector set to arrive in May. 

Another one million doses will be delivered in June while the bulk of supply will arrive in the third and fourth quarter of the year.

Galvez said that the procurements made by the private sector were part of the government’s “innovations” in the vaccine acquisition.