COVAX to deliver up to 4.58M doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine by May — WHO
MANILA, Philippines — The COVAX Facility has committed to deliver up to 4.58 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from British–Swede pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca by May, the representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) to the Philippines said Thursday.
“We have already a commitment from the COVAX facility for the delivery of up to 4.58 million AstraZeneca vaccines through to May of this year. And in addition to that, we will also be receiving 117,000 Pfizer-BioNtech vaccines, plus the additional quantities of Pfizer-BioNtech vaccines that will be allocated will be known before the end of this month,” WHO country representative Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe said in an online press briefing.
Abeyasinghe earlier said the Philippines will receive 44 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines allocated by the COVAX facility within the year, with up to 9.2 million doses arriving within the second quarter.
COVAX or the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access is a global initiative led by WHO that aims to give equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.
However, Abeyasinghe noted that the Philippines should be able to meet requirements for the efficient delivery of the vaccines.
“To access these vaccines and the remainder of the vaccines that will be coming to the Philippines before the end of the year, the Philippines needs to demonstrate that they can first rollout the vaccines in an efficient manner with minimized wastage of vaccines,” he said.
“Secondly, [they should ensure] that the vaccines are used according to the prioritization by starting with protecting, if I remember correctly, 1.8 million healthcare workers that have been identified for the first phase of vaccination,” he added.
Following the healthcare workers in the prioritization identified by WHO are the elderly and those with comorbidities, according to Abeyasinghe.
Malacañang earlier said 487,200 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines will arrive in the Philippines Thursday.
On Monday, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said the first batch of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech that was initially expected to arrive in the country in mid-February through COVAX may instead be delivered by the second quarter of this year.
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