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

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

Xave Gregorio (Philstar.com) - March 19, 2021 - 10:25am

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: May 7, 2021 - 6:46pm

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)

May 7, 2021 - 6:46pm

The Department of Health announces the resumption of the use of AstraZeneca jab for all eligible population following the recommendation of the Food and Drug Administration and the DOH All Experts Group on Vaccines.

The health department urges the public to get their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine. 

"The benefits of additional protection against COVID-19 could only be achieved by completing both doses of the vaccine," the DOH says in a statement.

May 7, 2021 - 10:53am

The regional health minister of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao said there is no basis for insinuations that COVID-19 vaccines are forbidden in Islam.

Medical workers from the Integrated Provincial Health Office-Maguindanao gave Bangsamoro Health Minister Bashary Latiph a Sinovac anti-coronavirus jab Thursday.

Latiph reiterated his appeal to residents in all cities and provinces in BARMM to ignore fallacies and assertions on Facebook by skeptics and pessimists who are not even medical practitioners that vaccines can do more harm than good.

“Listen only to BARMM’s Health Ministry, to the Department of Health and to health workers in provinces and in cities in the Bangsamoro region,” Latiph told reporters after he got an anti-COVID-19 shot. — The STAR/John Unson

May 5, 2021 - 9:51am

The Philippines approves the application of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use.

Food and Drug Administration Director general Eric Domingo says it only took nine days to review the emergency use authority application.

"The known and potential benefits of Moderna, when used to prevent COVID-19, outweigh the known and potential risks of the said vaccine," Domingo says during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum.

May 3, 2021 - 7:14pm

President Rodrigo Duterte has been vaccinated against COVID-19, reportedly with the Sinopharm vaccine.

May 3, 2021 - 10:24am

A total of 1,510 tourism frontline workers have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine as of April 30, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat says.

Workers from DOT-accredited and LGU-licensed quarantine/isolation facilities and non-quarantine DOT accredited accommodation establishments are included in the A4 Priority Group.

"We have also received word that LGUs who have already covered the majority of those in the A1 to A3 classification will also begin vaccinating those in the A4 group," Romulo-Puyat says in a statement.

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