Philippines gets first supply of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine

Philippines gets first supply of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine
This photo shows the Singapore Airlines plane which carried the Philippines' first ever supply of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine. The plane landed on the evening of June 27, 2021 at the Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay.
News5 / Justinne Punsalang

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines on Sunday night received 249,600 doses of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine, its first-ever supply of the jab from the manufacturer. 

Singapore Airlines flight SQ918 carrying the doses landed at Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay sometime around 11:00 p.m., per a report by News5.

This marks an initial delivery of the 20 million doses in total that the country has procured from the US-based drugmaker.

Some 55,000 doses from the first batch tonight will go to the private sector, per a report by The STAR. It will be transported to Marikina, where the jabs will be stored at the PharmaServ Express' cold storage facility.

Apart from the procured doses, the Philippines is expecting to receive more Moderna doses from the United States as a donation.

Safety, storage

  • Moderna is taken in two doses, 28 days apart. It has a 94% efficacy and is an mRNA vaccine. 

  • Per the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mRNA jabs teach the cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response inside a person's body. 

  • "That immune response, which produces antibodies, is what protects us from getting infected if the real virus enters our bodies," the CDC said.

  • mRNA jabs do not use live virus that causes COVID-19. Neither does it affect nor interact with humans' DNA.

  • This vaccine requires to be stored between 2 to 8 degrees celsius for up to 30 days.

Approved in the Philippines

  • The Food and Drug Administration cleared it for emergency use on individuals 18 years of age and above last May

  • Crucial: Its developer said it is "highly effective" among 12 to 17-year-olds. 

  • It has, however, yet to amend its EUA in the Philippines to be used on adolescents. So far, Pfizer has been approved for this while Sinovac is doing a study on it, too. — with a report from News5/Justinne Punsalang

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