An estimated 5.6 million doses of vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca are expected to arrive this mid-February, according to National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. yesterday.
The letter from Aurélia Nguyen, managing director of the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility, states that the Philippines will receive an initial 117,000 doses of vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech in mid-February for the first quarter. The company is set to confirm delivery for supplies in the next quarters of the year.
The Philippines will also receive from 5,500,800 to 9,290,400 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine for the first two quarters of the year.
Galvez clarified that the number of vaccines provided in the Philippines is “indicative” and will depend on its global supply.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca to make their vaccines safe to use once the supply is available for the Philippines.
In November, Pfizer Inc. announced that it completed the late-stage trial of its COVID-19 and final results showed 95% efficacy.
Pfizer said the vaccine developed with German partner BioNTech SE showed consistent efficacy across age and ethnicity demographics. There were also no major side effects, making it deployable worldwide.
5.6 million doses of Pfizer, AstraZeneca vaccines to arrive by mid-February
The vaccine reportedly showed 94% effectiveness for adults over 65 years, who are at particular risk from COVID-19.
Pfizer said there had been 170 infections in its trial of more than 43,000 volunteers. Of that number, 162 were observed in the placebo arm, and 8 were in the vaccine group.
According to Domingo, the vaccine from AstraZeneca developed with Oxford University has an efficacy rate of 70% after the first dose.
“All conditions for EUA are present, and the benefit of using the vaccine outweighs potential risk,” Domingo said during the day’s Laging Handa briefing.
Domingo said that the two doses of AstraZeneca could be given four to 12 weeks apart on individuals aged 18 years and above. It could only be given by vaccinators and providers identifies by the Department of Health.