Shipment and delivery of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) vaccines from India could begin once the Philippines has completed all the regulatory requirements, Philippine Ambassador to India Ramon Bagatsing Jr. said Monday.
“We hope the requirements can be expedited by the regulatory authorities in the Philippines so that it can be brought there,” Bagatsing said during the regular virtual press briefing in Malacañang.
He was referring to the eight million doses of Covaxin, India’s homegrown COVID-19 jabs developed by Bharat Biotech, which was already granted with emergency use authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drugs Administration.
The procurement of Covaxin is being done under the tripartite agreement scheme between the Philippine government, the supplier which is the third party, and the end-user. Bagatsing said the orders came mostly from local government units and several private corporations.
Last week, Bharat Biotech has announced the interim Phase III data for its COVID-19 jabs, with the vaccine showing 78 percent efficacy at preventing mild, moderate, and severe coronavirus infections and is seen working well against most variants.
Regarding the 30 million doses of Novavax by Serum Institute, the biggest vaccine manufacturer in the world, the Philippine envoy said the delivery could happen somewhere between the third and fourth quarter of the year.
Bagatsing said it is up to the government to determine how the 30 million doses of Novavax vaccine (brand name Covavax) would be distributed once it reaches the country since the procurement of said jabs is between the government and the Serum Institute of India (SII).
On March 9, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. flew to India and successfully negotiated the supply agreement with Novavax and the SSI.