Government signs deal for 20M more Pfizer vaccine doses

Government signs deal for 20M more Pfizer vaccine doses
The plane carrying the jabs arrived at Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport past 8 p.m. on November 25, 2011.
National Task Force against COVID-19

MANILA, Philippines — The national government and US drugmaker Pfizer-BioNTech have amended their supply agreement to include the purchase of an additional 20 million vaccine doses, the National Task Force Against COVID-19 announced. 

This brings the total vaccine shots ordered by the country to 60 million for the coming year. The renewed supply also comes two days before the start of the massive countrywide vaccination drive.

The latest 20 million doses will be delivered to the country starting January 2022 on a monthly schedule agreed upon by both parties, according to Edilberto Reyes, Pfizer Philippines interim country anager.

In a statement, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said the latest procurement will be used as booster shots and for minors or new vaccine formulation subject to Food and Drug Administration's approval.

"This development [will] substantially increase our current vaccine supply inventory. These 20 million Pfizer doses are in addition to the 40 million shots we had secured for the country earlier this year," he said.

"With these additional doses, we can ensure the sustainability of our National Vaccination Program, and hit the vaccination targets we have set not only for this year, but for 2022 as well," he added.

According to Galvez, the Pfizer doses will be financed through an additional financing loan from the World Bank in March 2021.

Task force sets year-end vaccination goals

Galvez said the government's next milestone is to fully vaccinate 54 million Filipinos by the end of the year, including at least 80 percent of the pediatric population aged 12 to 17.

“We set four major milestones that we aim to achieve until the third quarter of 2022. And we are determined to hit these targets despite the challenges we continue to face,” he said.

“Currently, our pediatric population is among the most vulnerable sectors to the disease. We therefore have to ramp up the inoculation of this age group,” he said.

The second milestone is to fully vaccinate 77 million Filipinos fully by the end of the first quarter of 2022.

“We will also carry out, in a phased manner, the administration of booster shots to the A4 group or our economic frontliners, as well as the vaccination of minors aged 5 to 11,” the vaccine czar said.

“We also aim to finish administering booster shots to 1.6 million health workers and 5 to 8 million senior citizens and individuals with comorbidities."

Galvez said the third milestone is fully vaccinating 90 million by the second quarter of 2022 and completing booster shots for frontliners.

He added that the fourth milestone is focused on completing the primary and booster vaccination of the rest of the population by the end of the third quarter of 2022.

“Through this massive vaccination drive, we hope to vaccinate 9 million Filipinos across all sectors,” he said of the coming three-day national vaccination program.

— with a report from Xave Gregorio 

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