House may get COVID-19 jabs from Novavax by June or July, says Sec-Gen
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives may receive COVID-19 vaccines from the United States-based Novavax by June or July, the secretary-general of the lower chamber said on Friday.
“Hopefully between June to July,” House secretary-general Mark Llandro Mendoza said in a text message to INQUIRER.net when asked when the procured vaccines will arrive. “We are looking into Covovax but it still depends on the availability of some vaccines.”
Covovax was developed by Novavax of Maryland and was manufactured by the Serum Institute of India.
“The House of Representatives will purchase its own vaccine in coordination with the national government,” Mendoza further said.
He made the confirmation after ACT Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro said during a hearing of the Special Committee on the North Luzon Growth Quadrangle that the House is expecting the delivery of vaccines by June.
Mendoza, however, has yet to provide details on the number of doses that the House is planning to procure.
The Covovax COVID-19 vaccine has shown promising results from its clinical trials against two new coronavirus variants that emerged in several countries, one of them in the Philippines.
The combined efficacy of Covovax against the original SARS-CoV-2 and the B.1.1.7 variant was 89.3 percent, according to the local drug distributor, Faberco Life Sciences Inc.
The Philippine government earlier signed a deal with the Serum Institute of India for 30 million doses of the Covovax vaccine. The vaccines will be available starting the third quarter of 2021.
Since the start of the pandemic, a number of lawmakers have already tested positive for COVID-19, among them Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, Anakalusugan party-list Rep. Mike Defensor, Negros Oriental Rep. Jocelyn Sy Limkaichong, and Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice.
Meanwhile, Senior Citizens party-list Rep. Francisco Datol Jr., and Sorsogon Rep. Ditas Ramos died last year after testing positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.
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