193,000 doses of Pfizer vaccines to arrive in May â Galvez
This file photo illustration picture shows vials with COVID-19 Vaccine stickers attached, with the logo of US pharmaceutical company Pfizer, on November 17, 2020.
AFP/Justin Tallis

193,000 doses of Pfizer vaccines to arrive in May — Galvez

Alexis Romero (Philstar.com) - May 6, 2021 - 6:16pm

MANILA, Philippines — More COVID-19 shots from the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility may arrive this month, including the first batch of jabs developed by American drug maker Pfizer, the country's vaccine czar said.

National Task Force against COVID-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said one million to two million doses of vaccines developed by British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca may be delivered this month but no specific date has been set. A total of 193,000 doses of Pfizer vaccines may arrive on May 11, he added.

"The good news, Mr. President, is we will have good volumes this coming May because of a positive development in COVAX. It seems that Pfizer and AstraZeneca will be able to deliver...We will get more or less one million to two million (doses of) AstraZeneca this May. We are just waiting for the definite date," Galvez told President Rodrigo Duterte during a meeting of the government's pandemic task force last Wednesday.

"The Pfizer vaccines from COVAX will come and we have an assurance that 1.3 million (doses) will arrive in May. Most likely, 193,000 doses will arrive on May 11," he added.

Galvez said because of the expected arrival of pandemic jabs, there would be no problems giving the second dose to those who have received their first shot.

Pfizer vaccines to be acquired through the COVAX facility were supposed to be among the first jabs to arrive in the Philippines but their delivery was delayed because of tight supply. The government initially expected the US-made vaccines to arrive last February.

Galvez said the arrival of Pfizer jabs next week would pave way to the "mini-roll-out" of the vaccine and would allow the government to prepare for succeeding deliveries. He noted that Pfizer vaccines should be stored  at temperatures of negative 70 degrees Celsius.

"Our LGUs (local government units) in NCR (National Capital Region) are prepared (to receive the Pfizer vaccines) and we are also looking at Davao and Cebu," Galvez said.

"So we thank the US government and (Philippine) Ambassador (to the US Jose Manuel) Romualdez really helped, he talked to the State Department and we are very happy with the support of the US. They will increase the delivery of Moderna and Pfizer (vaccines)," he added.

As of May 5, more than 1.7 million Filipinos have been vaccinated against COVID-19. The government aims to inoculate 70 million Filipinos by yearend. 

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