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Philippines eyes 'fill and finish' of COVID-19 jabs by 2022

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Philippines eyes 'fill and finish' of COVID-19 jabs by 2022
A health worker prepares a dose of the BioNtech Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine during a vaccination for seafarers at a stadium in Manila on July 15, 2021.
AFP / Ted Aljibe

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is eyeing to set up a fill-and-finish facility for COVID-19 vaccines next year, the country’s Food and Drug Administration said.

“Our plan for next year is to have at least a fill-and-finish facility, in which the bulk product will be brought to the Philippines, then we will repackage it into small vials, ampoules or syringes,” FDA Director General Eric Domingo said in Filipino during a briefing aired Monday evening.

“Then the year after that, we aim to manufacture different kinds of vaccine here,” he added.

The health, trade and science agencies are in talks with several foreign manufacturers in Cuba, China and Russia for possible “technology transfer,” the FDA chief also said.

Since March, the government has administered 41.7 million COVID-19 vaccine doses. Over 18.8 million have completed vaccination against COVID-19, while 22.9 have received partial protection.

The Philippines, which is battling Asia’s worst outbreaks, has reported 2.38 million COVID-19 cases, including 36,934 deaths, since the start of the pandemic. — Gaea Katreena Cabico

COVID-19 PANDEMIC COVID-19 VACCINES
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