PH seals deal for 40 million doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine
MANILA, Philippines — The national government on Sunday announced that it has sealed a deal for 40 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccines, and that a total of 8,050,711 doses of various brands have so far been administered nationwide.
Vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr said the vaccines will be delivered “after eight weeks starting August” and will be distributed in bulk.
“The vaccine demand has begun to ease up for many big and rich countries, as most of them have already acquired more than enough vaccines for their population and have vaccinated many of their citizens,” Galvez said in a statement.
“This has allowed the manufacturer to commit to us that deliveries, though still to be made in tranches, will be in bulk,” he added.
44 million doses from COVAX
Galvez said that the COVAX facility has also committed to deliver a total of 44 million doses to the country this year.
Galvez stated that with the Pfizer and COVAX deals, the Philippines has already secured the delivery of 157 million doses, including 26 million doses from Sinovac, 10 million from Sputnik V, 20 million from Moderna and 17 million from Astrazeneca.
Meanwhile, around 16 million doses from Novavax and Johnson & Johnson are still under negotiation.
“The vaccines from Pfizer will significantly boost our national immunization program and will enable us to realize our goal of achieving herd immunity by year end. This is another positive development that will give a happy and better Christmas for all Filipinos,” said Galvez.
Over 8 million doses administered
As of June 18, NTF COVID-19 said the number of COVID-19 jabs that have been administered nationwide is 8,050,711.
It added that the country also recorded its highest daily vaccination rate of 322,929 last June 15.
For two consecutive weeks in May, the government was able to inoculate more than a million per week.
Galvez said that the succeeding vaccine deliveries will push the daily vaccination rate to 500,000 by the third quarter and at least 740,000 by the fourth quarter o the year.
‘Well-prepared LGUs a must’
“We again emphasize for LGUs to ensure third party logistics and cold chain service providers for very sensitive vaccines like Pfizer, Moderna and Sputnik V. We don’t want any vaccine to be wasted because of spoilage and mishandling,” Galvez stressed.
He explained that Pfizer vaccines have storage temperature requirements of -80 to -60 degree centigrade while Moderna and Sputnik require -20 storage temperature.
“We intend to deploy the Pfizer, Sputnik V and Moderna vaccines as soon as possible and distribute it even to rural areas and communities. However, this will not be possible if the receiving LGU is not ready to handle these types of vaccines,” said Galvez.
Yearend vaccination for youngsters
The vaccine czar said that scheduled delivery of Pfizer and Moderna will coincide with the opening of the national immunization program to the general population including those under the 12-15 age bracket.
Galvez said the vaccination of 12 to 15 year-olds may be conducted later this year, as the country increases its vaccine inventory and completes the inoculation of the priority sectors.
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