AstraZeneca delivery for private firms pushed back to July 

AstraZeneca delivery for private firms pushed back to July 
Frontliners get inoculated with Aztrazeneca COVID-19 vaccine during the continuation of vaccination for health workers and frontliners at Marikina Sports Complex on March 24, 2021.
The STAR / Boy Santos

MANILA, Philippines — Doses of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine for the private sector will arrive in mid-July after a delay from the original target this coming June, an administration official said on Monday.

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion reported on May 4 that the jabs procured by private companies would be delivered next month. 

But over radio dzMM this morning, he admitted of a "slight delay" that could take three to four weeks. He said 1.17 million doses will now reach the Philippines on July 14.

"It's [in] July already unfortunately," Concepcion said partly in Filipino, asked when vaccinations for private sector employees would happen. "We don't have control on this. There are really delays in the whole world."

Companies last year chipped in some P600 million or around $12.5 million to lock in 2.6 million doses from the British-Swedish manufacturer. 

The agreement was finalized in November 2020 under a tripartite deal between the private sector, the vaccine developer, and the national government.

Concepcion said another 1.17 million doses will arrive in August. He said they expect to complete giving the first dose to recipients under the initial delivery also by July. 

"The second dose...in AstraZeneca it's anywhere between four to 12 weeks but the recommendation of the Department of Health is to use it in eight to 12 weeks," the adviser added.

Vaccinations in the country began in March. Three months on, inoculation chief Carlito Galvez said over 5.12 million doses have been administered. 

This meant 1,189,353 Filipinos fully vaccinated, out of the government's goal of 50 to 70 million in 2021 alone. 

Recently, the coronavirus task force moved to expand the A4 priority list to include an additional 35.5 million workers for the inoculation efforts. 

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