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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

5.6-M Pfizer, AstraZeneca doses due in Q1 under Covax facility–Galvez

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AT least 5.6-million vaccine doses produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca are expected to arrive in the country within the first quarter to jumpstart the country’s national vaccination program for Covid-19, National Task Force chief and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. announced on Sunday.

“Today, we received a letter from Aurélia Nguyen, managing director of the World Health Organization-led Covax facility, officially informing the Philippine government that the country stands to receive a total of 9,407,400 doses from the two pharmaceutical makers within the projected first and second quarters of this year,” the statement of Galvez sent to Health reporters read.

The letter, according to NTF, added: “With the country demonstrating its preparedness to receive the vaccines, the regional review committees from the WHO, UNICEF, and Gavi have granted us two vaccine brands that have been authorized or very close to being authorized by WHO through an Emergency Use Listing (EUL).”

Galvez said, “The arrival of these Covax vaccines is a welcome development as we await the vaccines that we have negotiated, which are expected to be delivered in the succeeding second, third, and fourth quarters of this year.”

The vaccines under Covax can now inoculate healthcare workers, medical-related personnel, and other frontliners, as laid down by the guidance provided by President Duterte to preserve the healthcare system and major institutions of the country.

Galvez said the development affirms that under the Covax facility, equitable distribution of vaccines is assured throughout the globe, which bodes well with the administration’s line of “Walang maiiwan, walang iwanan” (No one will be left behind).

In its letter, the Covax Facility said the Philippines will receive 117,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines. These are expected to be delivered in mid-February and will cover the first-quarter supply commitment. The delivery confirmation of the supplies for the succeeding quarters will be announced later.

The Philippines will receive 5,500,800 to 9,290,400 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines. As the company awaits the issuance of its EUL, the “indicative” numbers of doses reflect only the supply for the first two quarters of 2021. The initial delivery is scheduled by mid to late February as stated in the letter.

“I would like to emphasize that according to Covax the number of doses and the projected arrival of the vaccines are all indicative since it all depends on the global supply,” Galvez said.

EUAs granted

Earlier, the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted both Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA), which means these vaccines can be safely administered once they become available.

“Over the past week, we have been visiting cities in Metro Manila to monitor the ongoing preparations being carried out by our local government units (LGUs) and the private sector for the arrival of the vaccines, specifically the crafting of their respective local vaccine implementation plans,” he added.

Galvez said they will visit other areas across the country, especially now that the Philippine National Deployment and Vaccination Plan for Covid-19 vaccines has been finally approved for immediate implementation.

Their visits showed many local government units (LGUs) and the private sector are ready for the vaccine roll-out—from their vaccination sites, to their cold storage equipment and facilities, to their personnel, Galvez noted, adding, “We hope that these kinds of preparations will be replicated nationwide.”

The vaccine czar assured Filipinos “that under the leadership of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, your government will secure the targeted 148 million doses of safe, effective, and free vaccines to inoculate 70 million people by 2021 and realize our nation’s goal of achieving herd immunity within this year.”

The NTF chief also urged all Filipinos “to set their fears aside” and have themselves inoculated once these vaccines are available.

“Again, we would like to assure our countrymen that all the vaccines the government will be administering must pass the stringent selection and evaluation process of the Vaccine Expert Panel, FDA, and the Department of Health.”

ªMeanwhile, he said, even the vaccine provides an extra layer of protection, the public must observe the “vaccine plus” or the strict observance of minimum health standards—the wearing of face masks, maintaining social distancing, and practicing proper hygiene.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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