PH secures 30M COVID-19 vaccines; 60M more possible this week – Galvez

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said Monday the Philippines was able to secure 30 million doses of and may get 60 million more this week.

Galvez made the announcement during a Senate hearing after he signed a term sheet with the Serum Institute of India for the purchase of 30 million doses of the vaccine Covovax.

Currently, Covovax vaccine is in the third-stage trials in the United States and Mexico with 30,000 subjects and the United Kingdom with 15,000 subjects. The vaccine has also undergone trials in India, South Africa, and Australia.

The vaccine is expected to arrive in the Philippines by the third quarter of 2021.

Galvez said the 30 million doses of Covovax are already “locked-in” and it could increase by another 10 million. Another term sheet for some 60 million more doses may be signed this week, the vaccine czar said.

“Second, we cannot disclose all the others but we are potentially signing the term sheet of more or less another than 60 million within the week. All in all, we can secure already 100 million [doses],” Galvez said.

Galvez added that the Philippines will get 25 million doses of a China-made vaccine “on time.”

PH secures 30M COVID-19 vaccines; 60M more possible this week – Galvez

He said that the first batch of vaccines would be delivered on February 20 and the first COVID-19 vaccination in the Philippines would begin in the last week of February.

“The supply and demand is very volatile. The delivery is on general terms, tinatawag na indicative dates. The indicative dates, it might fall early, or delivery will be late by one week or two weeks. Safe to say, we will be having maybe last week of February,” he said.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III announced that the national government secured some 25 million doses of the  from Chinese firm Sinovac.

“We sealed the deal with Sinovac for 25 million with early 50,000 doses by February, 950,000 by March, and 2 to 3 million in succeeding months ’til December with 25 million doses. This is in addition to AstraZeneca as confirmed by Sec. Galvez,” he said.

The Philippines has also secured 2.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from British drugmaker AstraZeneca.