No definite date yet for arrival of AstraZeneca vaccines – Galvez

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez said Monday that there is no exact date yet for the arrival of 3.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

At a press conference after the official rollout of the ’s program at Philippine General Hospital, Galvez said the global supply shortage caused the of the vaccines.

“Wala pa pong definite date. Nakikita natin ang reality on the grounds, acute po ang global shortage of supply,” Galvez said.

Around 525,600 doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine from the World Health Organization (WHO)-led COVAX facility was supposed to arrive today, March 1.

“We understand the challenge COVAX is facing because they are supplying the global community. Ang pagkakasabi nila, indefinite [ang date of arrival] pero hopefully first quarter,” Galvez said.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said the rollout of the  vaccine in the country would proceed by the first quarter of this year despite spending results that its efficacy against the dominant original COVID-19 variant in the Philippines is low.

drugmaker AstraZeneca said their vaccine could only give limited protection against mild disease caused by the South African variant of COVID-19.

“In this small phase I/II trial, early data has shown limited efficacy against mild disease primarily due to the B.1.351 South African variant,” an AstraZeneca spokesman said in response to the FT report.

“However, we have not been able to properly ascertain its effect against severe disease and hospitalization given that subjects were predominantly young healthy adults.”

No definite date yet for arrival of AstraZeneca vaccines – Galvez

Domingo said that FDA is still waiting for data on the AstraZeneca vaccine’s efficacy against other new variants.

The efficacy rate of the AstraZeneca vaccine in symptomatic COVID-19 patients is 63.09 percent.

Its effectiveness in the United Kingdom variant is 74.6 percent.

The AstraZeneca study proved that the vaccine becomes more effective due to the longer interval of the second dose.

The of the vaccine were said to be mild.

In a webinar on vaccines, Dr. Lulu Bravo of the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination said that the negative effects of the vaccine include pain in the abdomen, fatigue, muscle aches, headaches, and chills.

Severe side effects include anemia, inflammation, myelitis, and high fever.