BY THE NUMBERS: Covid-19 vaccine supplies PH gov’t, LGUs will get
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is set to join other nations across the world in launching a mass vaccination of citizens in the face of a continuing pandemic and emergence of new variants of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes the potentially deadly respiratory illness COVID-19.
National and local governments recently released details of their respective Covid-19 vaccine acquisition projects that may come into fruition possibly within the first quarter of this year.
International pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies such as UK’s AstraZeneca, China’s Sinovac Biotech, and Covovax which is developed by US biotechnology company Novavax, have already sealed deals with the national government and local government units (LGUs).
Negotiations for vaccines developed by US-based pharmaceutical firms Pfizer and Moderna, China’s Sinopharm, and Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute were still ongoing.
What appears to be clear for now, based on the pronouncements of National Task Force (NTF) against Covid-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. and presidential spokesman Harry Roque, is that Sinovac’s vaccine will start arriving by February and it would be the only option for Filipinos until June.
Over 30 provinces and cities have already set aside funds to buy Covid-19 vaccines. The cities of Makati, Quezon, and Taguig in Metro Manila have announced earmarking P1 billion each for the procurement. And all pledged to offer the vaccines to priority constituents for free.
Most have likewise announced signing deals with British-Swedish pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca.
Specifically, some LGUs allocated funds to procure the following number of doses from AstraZeneca:
Makati City – 1,000,000 doses
Manila -City 800,000 doses
Quezon City – 750,000 doses
Valenzuela City – 640,000 doses
Caloocan City – 600,000 doses
Pasig City – 400,000 doses
Las Piñas City – 300,000 doses
Pasay City – 275,000 doses
Parañaque City – 200,000 doses
Muntinlupa City – 100,000 doses
Navotas City – 100,000 doses
Dagupan City – 160,000 doses
Ilocos Norte – 120,000 doses
Vigan City – 100,000 to 120,000 doses
Iloilo City – 600,000 doses
Ormoc City – 270,000 doses
Zamboanga City – 400,000 doses
Oroquieta City – 120,000 doses
Other LGUs like Mandaluyong City, San Juan City, Taguig City, Baguio City, Bacolod City, and Davao City did not disclose the number of doses they have secured from AstraZeneca due to the nondisclosure agreement they signed with the company.
Private sector firms have also secured deals with the UK-based vaccine manufacturer via a tripartite arrangement with the national government.
First off is the agreement signed between 30 private companies, the Philippine government, and AstraZeneca for 2.6 million vaccine doses – half of which would be for its regular and contractual employees while the other half would be given to government medical front-liners.
Second is the deal between over 200 companies, the national government, and AstraZeneca for 3 million doses – half of which for its workers while the other would be donated to the national government.
On Sunday, Galvez said the government has signed an agreement with Serum Institute of India (SII) for the supply of 30 million doses of Covovax vaccine.
He added that the number of doses is still extendible to 40 million.
Roque on Monday said the national government has secured from Sinovac 25 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine.
Roque also said the first batch of Sinovac vaccine or some 50,000 doses could arrive in the country by next month.
Galvez likewise detailed that there will be 40 million Covid-19 vaccine doses from the COVAX Facility, which the government eyes to administer to 22 million Filipinos.
In December 2020, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire announced that the COVAX Facility has guaranteed Covid-19 vaccine for 20 percent of the country’s population.
The COVAX Facility, also known as the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Acces Facility, is a global mechanism designed to guarantee rapid, fair, and equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines worldwide.
It is co-led by Gavi, an international organization created to improve access to new and underused vaccines, along with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and the World Health Organization.
The Philippines joined the COVAX Facility in July.
Additional 60 million doses
During the hearing of the Senate Committee of the Whole on January 11, Galvez disclosed a “potential” signing this week for the procurement of additional 60 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines.
“[W]e cannot disclose all the other, but we are potentially signing the term sheet of more or less another than 60 million within the week,” Galvez said.
Pfizer, Moderna, Gamaleya
As for other drug manufacturers’ vaccines, government officials said negotiations continue.
Galvez said he could not disclose yet how many doses the government is planning to procure from Pfizer but assured it’s a “very sizable amount.”
He also cited 25 million doses of Russia’s Gamaleya or Sputnik V vaccine that the government expects to obtain.
“We are still negotiating with Moderna, they are allocating us more or less 15 to 20 million dosages. The private sector under Enrique Razon already committed to help us in bringing Moderna to the Philippines,” the vaccine czar said.
“So the private sector is helping out so we can immediately lock in on the negotiation,” he added.
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