The initial 200,000 Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses that are set for delivery to the Philippines in the middle of June are allocated for the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the different Foreign Missions in the country, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said on Wednesday.
Locsin made this disclosure even as the Cambridge-based biotechnology firm Moderna has yet to secure an emergency use authorization (EUA) for its vaccine from the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA).
“That’s DFA’s share; supposed to go to DFA staff and family and to Foreign Missions and all their staff. I’ve told that to the diplomatic corps repeatedly and proudly announced it in international forums,” the foreign secretary said in a tweet.
On Wednesday, FDA Chief Rolando Enrique Domingo confirmed they are still waiting for the EUA application of Moderna with barely six weeks away from its target rollout in the Philippines.
Locsin was surprised to learn that no EUA application has been submitted for Moderna.
“Oh God, God, God…oh I forgot… we didn’t ask God to apply for EUA from FDA for Moderna. Appliers! They’re not even applicants because no paper work yet: get off your f_____g asses and submit the f_____g papers. That’s for the foreign diplomatic corps; a mutual courtesy,” he said in a separate tweet.
According to Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez, the Philippines is expected to receive close to 200,000 doses of Moderna vaccines by the middle of June while the deliveries for a total of 20 million doses may happen from July onwards until the end of 2021.
“One thing for sure, Moderna confirmed to us that the vaccines we ordered from them will begin delivery 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 message on Tuesday.
As of April 17, 2021, a total of 1,456,793 vaccine shots had been administered, placing the Philippines third in Southeast Asia in terms of the number of doses given, according to the Department of Health.