Pfizer, AstraZeneca jabs seen to arrive by February from COVAX facility

Christian Deiparine - Philstar.com
Pfizer, AstraZeneca jabs seen to arrive by February from COVAX facility
This file photo shows the COVID-19 candidate vaccine developed by the British-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca
AFP / Justin Tallis

MANILA, Philippines — The country's vaccine czar on Sunday said doses of Pfizer and AstraZeneca's coronavirus jabs are expected to arrive in the country by the first quarter of the year through the global initiative of the COVAX facility.

Sec. Carlito Gavlez Jr. in a statement reported that COVAX's managing director Aurelia Nguyen had told government that the Philippines would receive 9.4 million doses from the two drugmakers in the first and second quarters of this year.

By February, Galvez said COVAX would provide 5.5 million doses of AstraZeneca, while 117,000 from Pfizer. But, he said too that the number of doses as well as the projected arrival "are all indicative since it all depends on the global supply," suggesting that the figures may still change.

Only recently, the health department also announced that government will be shouldering 5% payment of the vaccines from COVAX, while the remaining 15% would be free, from the original pronouncement that the entire 20% for 22 million Filipinos would be made available without any payment.

It remains unclear as to how much the country would be paying for the 5%, with Galvez's statement also making no mention of it. But for 2021, government has an approved P72.5 billion funding for the vaccines purchase, which includes loans from sources such as the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank.

The development comes with the Food and Drug Administration approving the emergency use application of both Pfizer and AstraZeneca, in the administration's bid to inoculate 50 to 70 million Filipinos in 2021 alone, a vaccination plan that has met concerns and criticism.

Galvez said they would continue to hold visits in cities and provinces across the country to check local governments' preparations for when the jabs arrive.

Last week, officials had visited cities in Metro Manila, with Pasig being the first LGU to have its COVID-19 plan approved by health authorities.

"Based on our visits, we have seen that many LGUs and the private sector are now ready for the vaccine roll-out – from their vaccination sites, to their cold storage equipment and facilities, to their personnel," Galvez said. "We hope that these kinds of preparations will be replicated nationwide." 

The Philippines on January 30 marked one year since it reported its first coronavirus case, with the number soaring to now at 525,618, the second highest in Southeast Asia, along with 10,749 deaths and 487,551 since recovered.




As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: January 4, 2022 - 9:06am

The national government has so far secured two official deals for COVID-19 vaccine supplies in the Philippines, one with Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac and another with the Serum Institute of India.

Watch this space for bite-sized developments on the vaccines in the Philippines. (Main image by Markus Spiske via Unsplash)

January 4, 2022 - 9:06am

Government must increase vaccination capacity across the Philippines in anticipation of a surge of COVID-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant of the corona virus, Sen. Risa Hontiveros says.

She says local government units and the private sector can work together to put up more vaccination centers and deploy more vaccination teams to get more people inoculated against COVID-19.

"The active COVID cases have nearly doubled in three days. The positivity rate is almost four times the ceiling set by the World Health Organization. Huwag na nating hintayin na sobrang lumala pa ang sitwasyon bago tayo gumawa ng paraan para mapabilis ang ating pagbabakuna."

December 23, 2021 - 11:44am

FDA chief Eric Domingo says that its agency has given emergency approval for the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.

November 11, 2021 - 7:30am

The United States immunized around 900,000 children aged five-to-11 against Covid in the first week the Pfizer vaccine was authorized for them, a White House official says Wednesday.

Roughly 700,000 more have made appointments at pharmacies, White House Covid coordinator Jeff Zients tells reporters.

"The program is just getting up to full strength," he says, adding most of the shots were given in the last couple of days alone. — AFP

November 8, 2021 - 7:56pm

The Philippines has received 2.8 million doses of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccines from Russia.

The shipment arrived at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City on Monday night and was met by President Rodrigo Duterte himself.

November 7, 2021 - 11:57am

A Department of the Interior and Local Government proposal to require Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiaries to get vaccinated before cash transfers to them can be released will not help the poor, Sen. Risa Hontiveros says.

"Walang kundisyon sa 4Ps law na kailangang COVID-19 vaccinated ang recipients kaya dapat igalang at irespeto ng ating mga opisyal ang desisyon ng sinuman ukol sa pagbabakuna," she says. 

(The 4Ps Law does not include the condition that recipients must be vaccinated against COVID-19 so the government must respect people's decision to get vaccinated or not)

She says it would be better for government agencues like the social welfare and health departments to encourage 4Ps beneficiaries to get vaccinated but not as a condition to receive cash aid.

Hontiveros says encouragement and explanations have helped address vaccine hesitancy in Metro Manila.

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with