A huge batch of Pfizer vaccines–over two million according to Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.–is coming to the Philippines later this month.
Galvez, National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 chief implementer, made this revelation Thursday, May 13 during a symbolic rollout of the Pfizer jabs at Makati Medical Center.
“Yung next na delivery ng Pfizer (The next delivery of Pfizer), more or less 2.2 million, I was informed yesterday, is before the end of the month,” he said during the question and answer portion of the event, which was streamed on social media. The United States (US)-made vaccines are perhaps the most sought-after in the world, thanks to its high efficacy rate and promising usage on teenagers.
“So we’re very happy to Dr. Rabi[ndra Abeyasinghe, World Health Organization Representative to the Philippines], to the US government¡ and Covax for allowing us to access the donations of Pfizer,” Galvez said.
The WHO-led Covax facility ensures the equitable distribution of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to poorer nations. The life-saving vaccines are being made by only a handful of countries around the world.
It was only last Monday, May 10, when the Philippines got hold of its first batch of Pfizer vaccines via the Covax facility. The cargo had 193,050 doses.
“We are now having a logistics run and rehearsal for the coming in of these [Pfizer] vaccines,” Galvez said.
In order to avoid double-handling of the sensitive vaccines, Galvez said he has made an arrangement with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) so that the jabs would be sent directly to destination provinces like Davao and Cebu.
The Pfizer vaccines have a storage requirement of negative 70 to negative 80 degrees Celsius.