Last week, thousands of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines should have arrived from the COVAX Facility, an initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO).
But it was delayed due to the indemnification agreement demanded by the manufacturers from the government.
Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez himself said that he did not want to release the date, although he assured that the vaccines would come.
According to WHO Country Representative Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe, the Philippine agreements with the COVAX Facility were completed on time.
The delay is between the government and the manufacturer.
“There have been some delays in finalizing the commitments between Pfizer-BioNTech and the Philippine government. I’ve seen some communication last night which indicates that measures are being taken to address those issues,” said Abeyasinghe.
“We believe that limited Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines will be shipped as early as possible once the exchange of letters is completed and requirements met by the Philippine government,” he added.
According to Abeyasinghe, all countries are required to have an indemnification clause with the manufacturer because the vaccines to be distributed are still under the WHO emergency use listing.
WHO: Vaccines will be sent as soon as requirements are met
Manufacturer AstraZeneca said they will no longer accept vaccine orders.
But Abeyasinghe clarified that they still have 5.5 million to 9.2 million doses of their vaccine for the country.
“The AstraZeneca commitment to COVAX is already agreed upon. We don’t think that this quantity is at risk,” said Abeyasinghe.
“We are optimistic that before the end of this week, we will hear on the delivery dates of AstraZeneca vaccines to the Philippines,” he added.
According to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, the government has done everything to prevent the arrival of vaccines in the country.
“At the end of the day it is the vaccine manufacturers’ obligation and responsibility to ship it to us at the time that was promised. But as far as we are concerned, lahat naman ng kailangan gawin at ma-comply, na-comply natin, but we are at the receiving end,” said Nograles.