Galvez explains reasons why LGUs, private sector deals for 10M vax still hanging
MANILA, Philippines — Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. on Wednesday listed reasons why multi-party agreements (MPA) for the local government units (LGUs) and the private sector’s purchase for 10 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been either put on hold or have not been signed.
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri earlier sought to look into the hanging requests for vaccine procurement of 42 LGUs and about 300 private companies.
“Moderna and AstraZeneca are no longer accepting vaccine orders through MPAs for the time being,” Galvez said in a statement.
The COVID-19 vaccine developed by Novavax has yet to secure an emergency use authorization from the country’s Food and Drug Administration, added Galvez.
For the procurement of Sinovac, Pfizer, and Sputnik V, Galvez said its manufacturers “intend to prioritize the orders of the National Government given current supply constraints.”
“Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN has yet to secure approval from the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC). Further, we remain concerned about potential overpricing issues on the aforesaid vaccine,” he added.
Further, Galvez said Johnson & Johnson is “not open” to MPAs required for LGUs’ vaccine purchase under Republic Act No. 11525 also known as the COVID-19 Vaccination Program Act of 2021.
“We would like to assure our LGUs that the national government has sufficient funds to procure the vaccines. In fact, we have already ordered more than enough doses for our target population so that we can make up for slippages or shortfalls in deliveries,” Galvez said.
The Philippines already secured a total of 164 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for 2021.
“But we have to face the reality that vaccine makers are still not able to produce at a level that would meet the requirements of all nations. The issue is not just about having the resources to procure the vaccines but its limited supply in the world market,” he added.
Galvez also asked LGUs to “be more patient,” saying the national government is doing its best to ensure equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccine doses.
“We urge our LGUs to instead use the funds they have allocated for vaccine procurement for strengthening their prevent-detect-isolate-treat-reintegrate or PDITR strategy. This, along with COVID-19 vaccines, remain the best ways to contain and mitigate the impact of COVID-19,” Galvez said.
He also thanked Zubiri and other lawmakers for their “invaluable support” in the country’s vaccination program.
Since February, over 42.5 million vaccine doses have already been delivered to the Philippines, 27 million of which have already been administered. To date, more than 12.5 million individuals in the country have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
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