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Most vaccines will be from China, Russia until July â Galvez
President Rodrigo Duterte confers with Health Secretary Francisco Duque III during a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Presidential Guest House in Panacan, Davao City on August 10 , 2020.
Presidential Photo/Joey Dalumpines

Most vaccines will be from China, Russia until July — Galvez

(Philstar.com) - March 22, 2021 - 10:30pm

MANILA, Philippines — Chinese and Russian-developed COVID-19 vaccines will make up majority of the doses the administration will be getting for the country until July of this year, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said Monday.

In the weekly meeting of the coronavirus task force, Galvez presented to President Rodrigo Duterte a timeline of when vaccines from different manufacturers are expected to arrive.

Some 2.3 million doses of AstraZeneca from the COVAX facility and Sinovac combined will be delivered this March, marking the arrival of government's first ever vaccine purchase of a million doses from the Chinese manufacturer.

Russia's Gamaleya at three million doses, meanwhile, is seen to reach the country by April. Also arriving next month are 1.5 million to two million doses of Sinovac and roughly a million more from COVAX, the World Health Organization-led initiative.

Gamaleya secured Emergency Use Approval from local regulators last week. In the course of the health crisis, Duterte has openly proclaimed his preference for vaccines made by China and Russia, nations he has sought to foster close ties with in his years in office.

In the latter part of last year, the president also shunned making advanced payments to Western drugmakers as he accused them of trying to make a profit. He only changed his tune in November over concerns that the Philippines might be left behind in buying doses.

Criticism began to surface in 2021 that the Duterte administration had been late in engaging in talks to secure doses. Galvez said many rich countries were already lined up for their own vaccine supply.

The vaccine chief said the 2.6 million AstraZeneca doses that the private sector ordered could arrive by May. Gamaleya is expected to deliver another three million doses that month. Also arriving will be two million from Sinovac and another million doses from COVAX.

An initial 194,000 doses of the US-developed Moderna is seen to reach the country that month as well. So far, a supply deal for 20 million doses has been signed, but procurement has yet to be made final.

Galvez said inoculations for the general public could begin by May, with an expected supply of 8.9 million doses, along with a huge target of 500,000 to 1 million people vaccinated per week.

Sinovac at 4.5 million doses and Gamaleya at 4 million doses still make up most of the deliveries in June. A million doses of Novavax could also arrive by then and another 2 million from AstraZeneca.

The numbers are not that much different by July: Gamaleya (4 million), Sinovac (3 million), Novavax (2 million) and AstraZeneca (2 million). Perhaps a significant development is the arrival of Johnson&Johnson's first 1.5 million doses in the country, and a million doses from Moderna.

Galvez said the Philippines could have received 13.5 million doses by then, with vaccinations per week eyed to be increased to up to two million people.

The said arrivals remain to be indicative, as most are still at either supply deals or negotiations. Galvez also did not mention when Pfizer vaccines from the COVAX facility could be in the country.

In total, Novavax has 30 million allocated doses for the Philippines under the supply agreement. Sinovac follows at 25 million and Gamaleya at 15 million. Galvez said they are also looking to secure 25 million doses of Pfizer, but such is still in negotiation. — Christian Deiparine

ASTRAZENECA CARLITO GALVEZ JR COVID-19 VACCINE RODRIGO DUTERTE SINOVAC
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