Philippines, Pfizer ink supply deal for 40 million COVID-19 vaccine doses

Philippines, Pfizer ink supply deal for 40 million COVID-19 vaccine doses
An illustration picture shows vials with Covid-19 Vaccine stickers attached and syringes with the logo of US pharmaceutical company Pfizer and German partner BioNTech, on November 17, 2020.
AFP / Justin Tallis

MANILA, Philippines — Government on Sunday announced that it has struck a supply deal for 40 million doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine which is seen to reach the country by August. 

Vaccine czar Carlito Gavlez Jr. said he signed the agreement on Saturday along with Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, marking the country's biggest vaccine procurement so far this 2021.

"We are very happy to report that the government and the management of Pfizer have finally concluded our negotiations," he said in a statement.

The country's vaccine rollout began in March, with 2.09 million now fully vaccinated out of the 50 to 70 million goal this year. 

Galvez said the 40 million doses will start by August, and the shipments will be delivered in bulk. The purchase is separate from the supply of Pfizer doses that the Philippines got from the COVAX Facility in May and this month.

He added that the drugmaker was able to commit doses as demand for the jabs eased in wealthy countries, which have vaccinated a significant number of their population.

The amount for the purchase was not disclosed, but the official said it will be financed by the Asian Development Bank. 

Government secured an P82.5 billion funding from Congress for procuring the jabs. Apart from Pfizer, other deals were with Sinovac, Sputnik V and Moderna.

Galvez said the scheduled deliveries of Pfizer and Moderna will coincide with opening the vaccination to the general population, which include those 12 to 15 years old.

The two jabs had been cleared in the United States for emergency use on teenagers, with Pfizer also getting local regulators' approval for the same in the country.

So far, the Philippines has administered more than eight million doses of COVID-19 vaccine. The deal with Pfizer is seen to help stabilize the country's supply, and ramp up vaccinations.



As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: January 4, 2022 - 9:06am

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)

January 4, 2022 - 9:06am

Government must increase vaccination capacity across the Philippines in anticipation of a surge of COVID-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant of the corona virus, Sen. Risa Hontiveros says.

She says local government units and the private sector can work together to put up more vaccination centers and deploy more vaccination teams to get more people inoculated against COVID-19.

"The active COVID cases have nearly doubled in three days. The positivity rate is almost four times the ceiling set by the World Health Organization. Huwag na nating hintayin na sobrang lumala pa ang sitwasyon bago tayo gumawa ng paraan para mapabilis ang ating pagbabakuna."

December 23, 2021 - 11:44am

FDA chief Eric Domingo says that its agency has given emergency approval for the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.

November 11, 2021 - 7:30am

The United States immunized around 900,000 children aged five-to-11 against Covid in the first week the Pfizer vaccine was authorized for them, a White House official says Wednesday.

Roughly 700,000 more have made appointments at pharmacies, White House Covid coordinator Jeff Zients tells reporters.

"The program is just getting up to full strength," he says, adding most of the shots were given in the last couple of days alone. — AFP

November 8, 2021 - 7:56pm

The Philippines has received 2.8 million doses of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccines from Russia.

The shipment arrived at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City on Monday night and was met by President Rodrigo Duterte himself.

November 7, 2021 - 11:57am

A Department of the Interior and Local Government proposal to require Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiaries to get vaccinated before cash transfers to them can be released will not help the poor, Sen. Risa Hontiveros says.

"Walang kundisyon sa 4Ps law na kailangang COVID-19 vaccinated ang recipients kaya dapat igalang at irespeto ng ating mga opisyal ang desisyon ng sinuman ukol sa pagbabakuna," she says. 

(The 4Ps Law does not include the condition that recipients must be vaccinated against COVID-19 so the government must respect people's decision to get vaccinated or not)

She says it would be better for government agencues like the social welfare and health departments to encourage 4Ps beneficiaries to get vaccinated but not as a condition to receive cash aid.

Hontiveros says encouragement and explanations have helped address vaccine hesitancy in Metro Manila.

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