Philippines secures 20 million doses of Moderna vaccine in deal with private sector

Xave Gregorio - Philstar.com
Philippines secures 20 million doses of Moderna vaccine in deal with private sector
This file photo taken on November 18, 2020 shows a syringe and a bottle reading "Vaccine Covid-19" next to the Moderna biotech company logo.
AFP / Joel Saget

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has secured 20 million doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine in a tripartite deal with the United States biotech company and the private sector.

The Philippine government, represented by vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr., and the private sector, represented by International Container Terminals Services, Inc. chairman Enrique Razon, inked Thursday a deal to procure the vaccines.

Under the agreement, the government will be getting 13 million doses of the vaccine, while the private sector would receive the remaining seven million doses which it will use for its frontline workers.

It is not clear when these vaccines will arrive, although Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez previously indicated that some 20 million doses of Moderna’s jabs would arrive by the end of May or early June.

Taken in two doses, Moderna has reported a 94% efficacy rate for its candidate vaccine and was approved for emergency use by US regulators in late 2020.

The Philippines is targeting to secure enough vaccine doses from different manufacturers to cover 70 million of its 108 million population to achieve herd immunity and roll back coronavirus restrictions that plunged its economy to its lowest on record.

INTERAKSYON: Are these COVID-19 vaccines eyed by Philippines effective? A vaccinologist weighs in

The country, however, has yet to receive a single vaccine dose it purchased as the vaccines it has received so far have only come from donations from China and the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility.

The country’s vaccination program has also been criticized for its slow pace, with only 269,593 medical frontliners and health workers getting inoculated more than a month since it started.

The Philippines has one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in Asia and is seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases in recent days.

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: October 19, 2021 - 8:21am

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)

October 19, 2021 - 8:21am

Pfizer-BioNTech submits an authorization request to Health Canada on Monday for the use of its Covid-19 vaccine in children aged 5-11, the companies and the Canadian government said.

"This is the first submission Health Canada has received for the use of a Covid-19 vaccine in this younger age group," it says in a statement.

The authorization request is based on data from trials conducted on 2,268 children in this age group for whom the dosage was lowered to 10 micrograms per injection  — three times less than the standard dose — which the company says is "the preferred dose" for 5-11 year olds. 

This same Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is approved in Canada for ages 12 and up. — AFP

September 21, 2021 - 7:34am

Cuba agrees to provide Vietnam with 10 million doses of its home-grown coronavirus vaccine, Abdala, for which the Asian nation has given emergency approval.

A deal was signed between the two countries during an official visit by President Nguyen Xuan Phuc to the communist island, the government says.

The agreement concerns an initial five million doses, but Vietnam has already authorized the purchase of 10 million doses in total, Cuban media reports. — AFP

September 3, 2021 - 11:37am

FDA Director General Eric Domingo says they have granted emergency use authorization approval for Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to be used in those aged 12-17 years old.

August 19, 2021 - 7:17pm

Under fire for its fumbled start in procuring Covid vaccines, South Africa now has plentiful jabs but faces a new challenge: tepid uptake.

With thousands of new infections and hundreds of deaths each day, South Africa has the biggest coronavirus tally of any country on the continent — more than 2.6 million cases in a population of 58 million.

The authorities have come in for hefty criticism for their vaccine strategy. In February, at a crucial point in the pandemic, the country notably turned down one and a half million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine over doubts that it would protect against a then-dominant local variant of the virus.

Since then, the government has secured tens of millions of shots, and South Africa even became the first nation in Africa to produce Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer jabs.

The goal is to vaccinate 70 percent of its adult population, or 28 million people, by end of the year. — AFP

August 9, 2021 - 8:01pm

The government of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao has launched a web portal for constituents to register for vaccination against COVID-19, the Bangsamoro Information Office announces.

Dr. Bashary Latiph, health minister, says the portal (https://covid19.bangsamoro.gov.phis a result of the collaboration of the members of the Bangsamoro Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19.

The website shows also shows updated statistics of the region's vaccination efforts and information on COVID-19 cases.

The BARMM has fully vaccinated 144,153 individuals — 91,282 of them with the single-dose Janssen vaccine — the information office says.

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