Envoy: 2 US firms ready to supply up to 25M COVID vaccine doses to Philippines
In this file photo taken on August 13, 2020 Biotechnology company Moderna protocol files for COVID-19 vaccinations are kept at the Research Centers of America in Hollywood, Florida. US biotech firm Moderna won't seek an emergency use authorization for its coronavirus vaccine before November 25, its CEO told the Financial Times on September 30.
AFP/Chandan Khanna

Envoy: 2 US firms ready to supply up to 25M COVID vaccine doses to Philippines

Xave Gregorio (Philstar.com) - December 18, 2020 - 10:15am

MANILA, Philippines — Two biotech companies in the United States are willing to supply the Philippines up to 25 million doses of their coronavirus vaccines, the country’s envoy to Washington said Friday.

US firms Moderna Therapeutics and Arcturus Therapeutics are ready to supply four to 25 million doses of their vaccines beginning the third quarter of next year should the government find their proposals acceptable, Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez said in a statement.

“We are hoping our government will consider the promising candidates of Moderna and Arcturus for inclusion in our country’s pool of anti-COVID vaccines,” Romualdez said.

Among the two companies, Moderna is leading with its candidate vaccine widely expected to get emergency use authorization from US regulators soon. Arcturus, on the other hand, has said its vaccine would be ready by the first quarter of 2021.

Moderna has said that its vaccine, taken in two doses, is 94% effective at preventing COVID-19, while Arcturus has reported promising results from early stage trials.

Both vaccines from the two firms use the messenger RNA technology, which, until the rollout of Pfizer and BioNTech’s inoculation, has never been used on humans before.

READ: How close is the Philippines to getting which COVID-19 vaccines?

The Philippines, which targets to vaccinate 24 million Filipinos against the coronavirus, is lagging behind in the global race to obtain doses of the vaccines, which has been touted by no less than President Rodrigo Duterte as the only way to end the local outbreak of the virus.

The country has only one supply deal for coronavirus vaccines, and that is with British-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca, which would not have been possible if not for the help of some 30 firms which would donate half of the 2.6 million doses they bought to the government.

RELATED: Botched COVID-19 vaccine talks for Pfizer's doses escalate

Meanwhile, its neighbors Singapore and Indonesia have signed multiple supply agreements from various drugmakers for coronavirus vaccines for their citizens.

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