Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. revealed Friday, May 14 that he has already signed the renegotiated term sheet for the procurement of 40 million doses of Pfizer vaccines, saying it would boost the country’s inoculation program against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Galvez made the announcement during the virtual launch of the “Ingat Angat, Bakuna Lahat” campaign that aims to entice more Filipinos to get vaccinated. It is spearheaded by top leaders in the private sector.
“I would like to announce in this launching that as of this date, I have already signed the head of terms or the term sheet for our procurement [of] Pfizer [vaccines] for 40 million,” said Galvez, vaccine czar and chief implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19, in a pre-recorded video message.
Also expected to sign the term sheet is Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.
Aside from this, Galvez confirmed that Pfizer will also be advancing the delivery of 2.2 million doses this month through the Covax facility. A part of the shipment was supposed to be brought in June.
“It is worth noting that we expect the delivery of another 2.2 million doses of vaccines from Pfizer [through] Covax this month. Natutuwa po kami na talagang in-advance nila yung 1.1 million na dapat ibibigay sa June (We are really happy that they advanced the delivery of 1.1 million [doses] which they were supposed to give in June),” he said.
Last May 10, the Pfizer donated 193,050 vaccine doses to the country through the Covax facility.
The initial doses of Pfizer was supposed to be delivered in February. However, the failure of the government to immediately settle the indemnification requirement of Pfizer caused the delay in the arrival of the vaccines.
Although Galvez was elated with the increased volume of vaccine deliveries, he acknowledged that one of the challenges in the inoculation program is the slow administering of vaccines.
At present, the country has a total of 7,779,050 vaccine doses in its inventory. A total of 2,623,093 doses were already administered as of May 12, according to data from the Department of Health (DOH).
“As you can see, we have a challenge of really administering the remaining 5,155,957 doses that have been sitting in our inventory,” he said.
Around two million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines are set to expire in June but the DOH believes it will all be used in time to avoid vaccine wastage.
Galvez said that the private sector-led vaccination, which may start in June, is expected to address the slow inoculation program as it would entail the vaccination of A4 priority or the economic frontliners and other frontline workers in essential services.
“As we begin to scale up our vaccine inventory with the consecutive deliveries of our supply both procured and Covax-donated, the private sector-led vaccination program will provide a major boost to the government’s vaccine rollout and may start in June as we open up our vaccination for A4 — our economic frontliners and government essential services,” he said.