Galvez: PH hasn’t signed supply agreement yet with any vaccine maker
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has yet to sign a supply agreement with any Covid-19 vaccine manufacturer, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. told senators Thursday, a disclosure that made Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon worry.
“We do not have any supply agreement yet, we are still accomplishing it,” Galvez said during a Senate hearing upon Drilon’s query.
According to Galvez, the Philippine government has already secured 108 million doses of vaccines from different manufacturers. These, however, are only through a signed “term sheet.”
“The firm agreement that we have is through the term sheet. We have more or less 108 million doses we have been negotiating,” he said.
“We are now finalizing the supply agreement with Sinovac and with Novavax and Moderna but no supply agreement finished yet,” he added. Under the supply agreement, the terms of payment and the price are indicated, according to Galvez.
Galvez, meanwhile, noted that the government is expecting the delivery of 600,000 doses of Sinovac’s vaccine — donated by the Chinese government — on February 23.
Aside from China’s donation, 50,000 doses from the same vaccine brand are also expected to arrive this February while up to one million doses are expected to be delivered in March.
Earlier, the Philippine government secured 25 million doses of Sinovac’s vaccine, which will be delivered to the country in batches.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, who also attended the hearing, confirmed that the government has yet to sign a supply agreement with any vaccine maker.
“Other than the donated vaccines which are scheduled on Feb. 23 to arrive and also the Pfizer of 117,000 doses expected to arrive as soon all the documents have been completed and have been submitted to COVAX and we’re just waiting for the final draft,” Duque said.
“The Feb 23rd arrival of the Sinovac vaccines will amount to about 600,000. Ito pa lang po ang so far ang indicative volumes that will be used for our initial rollout. But in terms of the supply agreement, there has been no signed supply agreement,” he added.
Drilon took note of the lack of a perfected supply agreement, saying this could mean that there is no firm commitment yet on the delivery of the vaccines to the country.
“How can we say that there will be deliveries if there are no supply agreements?” the senator asked.
He pointed out that in commercial transactions, deliveries are made only after the supply agreements have been signed.
“Those which are not donated and I assume would have some commercial aspect, I assume that a supply agreement is signed before the manufacturer would deliver. Other than those which are donated, the deliveries, which are not donated, I assume are covered by a supply agreement otherwise there is no firm commitment to supply,” he said.
“As of this point, we have not signed any supply agreement….Therefore, these are just commitments not written anywhere but just based on good relations,” Drilon added.
In response, Galvez reiterated that the government has already “locked-in” the supply and that there is a commitment to have supply agreements discussed within this week and next week.
The government targets to roll out its Covid-19 mass immunization program within the first quarter of the year, eyeing to vaccinate at least 70 million Filipinos to achieve herd immunity and significantly arrest the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, which causes the potentially fatal respiratory illness.
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