The Philippines is expected to receive close to 200,000 doses of Moderna vaccines from the United States by the middle of June while the deliveries for the bulk of the 20 million doses may happen in July onwards until the end of the year, Philippine Ambassador to Washington Jose Manuel Romualdez said on Tuesday.
“One thing for sure, Moderna confirmed to us that the vaccine we ordered from them will (be delivered) starting June 15, and that is the target date. It would start increasing in the succeeding months of July, August, and September up to the end of the year. They will complete the 20 million up to the end of the year,” Romualdez said in a pre-recorded interview with the Malacañang press corps.
Although smaller in amount, he said the first tranche of the Moderna jabs will be coming from Europe.
During his discussions with the American vaccine manufacturer, Romualdez said Moderna briefed him about the “booster shots” that they are currently developing which are now undergoing clinical trial.
Once given the emergency use authority (EUA) sometime in September, he said the booster would complement other vaccine shots that were already administered in the Philippines, including the China-made Sinovac jabs.
“They can use this booster shot. It will complement it, as a matter of fact, to give a push and more efficacy, especially to the new variants that are coming in. I’m very confident by the end of this year, large majority of our people will be vaccinated,” he stated.
As for the Pfizer vaccine, he said the delivery of about 117,000 doses will go through the Covax facility and are expected to come in “hopefully” by next month.
Romualdez explained that the delay in the delivery of the Pfizer vaccine was due to legal issues concerning indemnity which both sides – the Philippines and the United States – have to overcome.
“I think our Department of Justice is in the final stage of just making sure that both the agreement and the indemnity agreement are clear and that the government is well protected also,” the Filipino diplomat said, adding that he expects the transaction to be completed by next week.