Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine may also be delivered outside major cities – DOH
MANILA, Philippines — The Pfizer-developed Covid-19 vaccine may reach areas outside major cities in the Philippines if appropriate cold storage facilities would become available in those areas, the Department of Health (DOH) said Monday.
In an online press briefing, DOH Undersecretary and spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire said “partners” of the health agency are offering low-temperature facilities and equipment for storing Covid-19 vaccines to be rolled out in the country.
“As time will go by, marami pong partners na nag-ooffer sa atin ng ganitong facilities and equipment. So we will see. Malay mo sa susunod, in two months time, we will be able to set it up also in other areas of the country and then we can also roll out this kind of vaccine to them,” she said when asked if it is possible to have Pfizer vaccines delivered outside major cities in the country.
(As time goes by, there are partners that offer these facilities and equipment to us. So we will see. Maybe in two months time, we will be able to set up these facilities also in other areas in the country and roll out this vaccine to them.)
“Hindi po natin kino-confine ‘yan na ngayon ay final na tayo lahat (We are not saying the strategy on distribution is final). Everything will evolve because of the developments that will happen,” she added.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque earlier said only major cities in the country may get Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccines due to the limited number of required cold-chain storage facilities to keep the drug.
Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine needs to be stored at -70 degrees Celsius.
According to Vergeire, vaccines that require -70 to -80 degrees Celsius storage will be distributed to Metro Manila, Cebu, Davao Region, and some areas in Central Luzon and Calabarzon.
“Now when it comes to other vaccines, mailalagay naman natin sila across different regions (these can be stored in other regions),” she said.
“So the distribution plan would be if that these are regular storage requirements, dadaan po ‘yan sa (it will go through our) central storage hub which is the RITM (Research Institute for Tropical Medicine), and then it’s going to be distributed to our regional offices—these are subnational hubs—and then it (other vaccines) is going to be provided to all local governments,” Vergeire added.
On January 14, the country’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Pfizer the emergency use authorization (EUA).
In granting EUA to Pfizer, the FDA noted interim data from Phase 3 trials of the US pharmaceutical firm’s vaccine showing its efficacy rate of 95 percent in the study population and at least 92 percent among all racial groups.
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