MANILA, Philippines — More COVID-19 vaccines are expected to be made available in the country following British drug maker AstraZeneca’s approval of a request from the private sector for a second batch of vaccine procurement for donations.
In a statement yesterday, presidential adviser on entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion said AstraZeneca approved the second part of the vaccine procurement, which can now be processed.
“We are happy to announce that with enough support, and of course, demand coming from the private sector, the second part is now already in the works. The signing we did (a) few weeks ago made it to several headlines and we received several inquiries from the private sector asking for more allocation, hence, a request (for) AstraZeneca to hopefully allow us to have a second batch,” Concepcion said.
Last month, a deal was signed by Concepcion with over 30 private sector representatives as well as vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. and AstraZeneca Philippines country president Lotis Ramin for the supply of 2.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
Under the deal, half of the vaccines would be donated to the government, particularly the Department of Health (DOH), while the balance would go to employees in the private sector.
The initial procurement had to follow a supply timeline, given that other countries and institutions are also trying to get their hands on the vaccines.
The vaccines under the private sector’s initial procurement are targeted to be available in the country in May or June next year.
Concepcion said the approval for a second batch of procurement is a positive development as it would make more vaccines available to save lives and fight the pandemic.
“With all these announcements, our Filipino people can be assured that we will not be left behind… We will soon see this pandemic disappear,” he said.
The development was made possible by the collaboration of the private sector and the government.
“So far, this private-public partnership is working so well and has become a template for the private sector in this war against COVID-19,” Concepcion said.
Since the start of the pandemic, Concepcion and the private sector has been utilizing tools to provide visibility against the virus and allow the reopening of the economy.
At the beginning of the pandemic, he pushed for testing to create greater visibility. This time around, he and the private sector are again playing an active role in making vaccines available in the country.
With all this progress, Concepcion said the country would soon no longer have to choose between lives and livelihood given the synergy the public and the private sector has created.