The country’s immunization drive will be accelerated with the upcoming arrival of Covaxin vaccine doses from India.
Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion announced Tuesday that around 8 million Covaxin shots are expected to be delivered to the country starting next month after securing emergency use approval from the country’s drug regulators.
The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) earlier granted the application for emergency use authorization (EUA) of India’s Bharat Biotec for its Covaxin vaccine. Covaxin, the first coronavirus vaccine created in India, is a two-dose vaccination regime given 28 days apart.
“Covaxin is a very promising vaccine with an efficacy rate of 81%. It has also promised an early arrival this coming May and June which many companies are really wanting for them to inoculate immediately its employees. As of now, we are expecting a total of 8 million doses of Covaxin for the Philippines,” Concepcion said in a statement Tuesday, April 20.
Concepcion recognized the need to “accelerate” the arrival of vaccine purchases in the face of the surge in coronavirus cases due to the emergence of the new and more infectious variants in the country
“The early arrival of Covaxin will help our immunization program as it would accelerate further our rollout,” he said.
He said the delivery of the Covaxin would augment the vaccines procured by the private sector from the British drugmaker AstraZeneca under “A Dose of Hope” program.
At least 17 million doses have been secured by the government from AstraZeneca. The initial batch of vaccine supply is expected to arrive in the country this June.
“For AstraZeneca, the first batch is expected to arrive in June while the second batch is expected to arrive in July onwards. We hope we will be able to vaccinate much more of the economic frontliners,” Concepcion said.
Under the private sector-led vaccine procurement program, Concepcion and his Go Negosyo team continued to coordinate with various vaccine manufacturers, including Moderna and Novavax, for supplies.
Concepcion also appealed anew to the public to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Vaccination could help save lives as well as livelihoods in the country, he said.
“As we have another vaccine in our hands, we encourage more Filipinos to suit up and take our civic duty of being vaccinated,” he said.
“The vaccine is our only way throughout this pandemic and it is only through our united action that we could achieve herd immunity. Attaining herd immunity, we can open further the economy and make lives and livelihoods flourish in the process,” he added.
Concepcion, a Padma Shri Awardee in 2017, earlier assured support for the country’s vaccine cooperation with India. His team previously held meetings with IP Biotech, the exclusive importer and distributor of Covaxin to the Philippines, and Ambica International Corporation, the appointed consolidator, to tackle the vaccine partnership.
Another town hall meeting will be held by Go Negosyo on April 27 to take the procurement of Covaxin supplies.