COVAX to send 2.2 million more Pfizer doses by end-May — Galvez
This photo shows the COVAX facility's delivery of 193,050 Pfizer doses to the Philippines, which arrived on May 10, 2021
Release/World Health Organization

COVAX to send 2.2 million more Pfizer doses by end-May — Galvez

(Philstar.com) - May 13, 2021 - 4:44pm

MANILA, Philippines — An official handling the country's vaccination efforts said Thursday that 2.2 million more doses of Pfizer from COVAX facility will arrive in the Philippines this May.

The World Health Organization-led initiative delivered an initial 193,050 doses this week, marking the country's first ever supply of the jab.

Metro Manila cities have begun administering the Pfizer vaccine to priority groups since its arrival. The WHO has stressed that government should strictly follow this list, otherwise risk future allocation from COVAX.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. along with other officials was at the Makati Medical Center earlier today for a symbolic inoculation of Pfizer. 

In a briefing, he thanked the foreign groups involved in making Pfizer more available to the country. This includes the United States, which Palace spokesperson Harry Roque incorrectly claimed as yet to send a "single vial" to the Philippines despite being a top COVAX donor.

"We are very happy," Galvez said. "To Dr. Rabi (Abeyasinghe), the US government, to (vaccine alliance) Gavi and also to COVAX, for allowing us to access the donated Pfizer. We're very thankful."

Galvez said they have an arragement with UNICEF to immediately transport the doses to other sites which have storage capacity such as Davao and Cebu "to avoid double handling."

"Don't worry, we have been rehearsing since February for Pfizer and we don't see any problem," he added in Filipino.

The said vaccine was among the first supposedly to reach the country in February. Its delivery, however, was delayed for months due to the lack of an indemnity law in the country.

While the Philippines will be getting more doses of Pfizer, this remains coming from the COVAX facility. The government has yet to strike even a supply deal with the vaccine manufacturer.

By May 11, a little over 514,000 have completed their two doses of COVID-19 jabs. Some 2.03 million, meanwhile, got their first dose.

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