Philippines to get first doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

Xave Gregorio - Philstar.com
Philippines to get first doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on Monday
A file photo taken on February 6, 2021 shows a box containing vials of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine at the Foch hospital in Suresnes, on the start of a vaccination campaign for health workers with the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine. The World Health Organization gave emergency use approval to AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccines on February 15, 2021, allowing distribution to some of the world's poorest countries to begin. "The WHO today listed two versions of the AstraZeneca-Oxford Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use, giving the green light for these vaccines to be rolled out globally through Covax," a WHO statement said, referring to the programme aimed at equitable distribution of inoculations.
AFP / Alain Jocard

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 5:52 p.m.) — The Philippines is set to receive on Monday its first doses of British-Swedish drugmaker’s AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine developed with the University of Oxford, Malacañang confirmed to Philstar.com.

The shipment consists of 525,600 doses of AstraZeneca’s shots, which are sourced from the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility.

The WHO earlier said that the government has met all the requirements to receive the jabs from the COVAX facility and hinted that the jabs may arrive within the week.

The Philippines expects to receive around 5.5 million to 9.2 million doses of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus shots this year through the COVAX facility, which ensures that developing countries get access to the coveted drug.

The doses from the COVAX facility is on top of the 17 million procured by the national government, local governments and the private sector, which are expected to arrive later this year.

AstraZeneca’s shot is found to be 70% effective on average and only need to be stored at standard fridge temperatures of 2°C.

The arrival of the AstraZeneca vaccine will come a day after a donation of 600,000 doses of CoronaVac, the vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd., lands on Philippine shores.

The Food and Drug Administration has authorized both vaccines for emergency use, but did not recommend CoronaVac to be given to healthcare workers who are constantly exposed to COVID-19 patients, citing a late-stage trial among frontline medical workers in Brazil that showed that the Chinese shot is only 50.4% effective.

The Philippines is the last country in Southeast Asia to receive coronavirus vaccines, despite having the second-worst outbreak in the region with 574,247 cases and 12,289 deaths as of Saturday. 



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