Philippines to ink deal for 30 million Novavax jabs on Wednesday — Palace

Philippines to ink deal for 30 million Novavax jabs on Wednesday â Palace
In this file photo Dr. Nita Patel, Director of Antibody discovery and Vaccine development, lifts a vial with a potential coronavirus, COVID-19, vaccine at Novavax labs in Gaithersburg, Maryland on March 20, 2020, one of the labs developing a vaccine for the coronavirus, COVID-19.
AFP / Andrew Caballero-Reynolds

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 2:11 p.m.) — The Philippines is set to sign on Wednesday a definitive agreement with US biotech company Novavax for 30 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine. 

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque confirmed this during a virtual briefing on Tuesday. "Tomorrow, a supply agreement will be signed with Novovax for 30 million [doses of its] vaccines," he said in Filipino. 

National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. is scheduled to fly to India on Tuesday and will remain there until Friday, to secure agreements with Novavax and the Serum Institute of India (SII).

Novavax in January said Phase 3 trials conducted in Britain showed that its vaccine had an efficacy of 89.3%. According to the company, its jab proved 95.6% effective against the original coronavirus strain and 85.6% effective against a more infectious variant that first emerged in the United Kingdom. 

Novavax has not yet received authorization for emergency use from the country's Food and Drug Administration. 

Gov't locks in 1 million more doses of Sinovac

Roque also announced that the government signed a supply agreement with Chinese Biotech company Sinovac for one million more of its vaccines. The deal will cost the Philippines P700 million. 

Sinovac's jabs were the first to arrive in the country after Beijing donated 600,000 of them to the Philippines. The vaccines have been used to inoculate healthcare workers who are below 60 years old. 

Only vaccines from Pfizer, Sinovac, and AstraZeneca have been greenlit for emergency use by the FDA. Initial deliveries of 525,600 jabs from AstraZeneca were also completed by the COVAX facility this month, paving the way for the inoculation of more healthcare workers, including those who are senior citizens. 

Officials are scrambling to finalize vaccine deals amid the increase of coronavirus cases in the country, with the Department of Health reporting over 3,000 new daily infections four days in a row. Despite the presence of two more infectious COVID-19 variants in the Philippines, the DOH on Monday insisted that the rise is largely due to people's noncompliance with health protocols. 

Since the government belatedly kicked off its inoculation effort this month, some 35,669 healthcare workers have been vaccinated as of March 7, according to health department data. — Bella Perez-Rubio with a report from Agence France-Presse





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.

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