Philippines expects 5.6m Covid vaccine doses by end-March

Daniel Fowler
February 1, 2021

Arianne Reza, an associate deputy minister at Public Services and Procurement Canada, says Canada does have some existing supply of the special, low-dead-volume needles needed to extract six doses from vials of Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine.

The new Pfizer order will complement 12 million vaccine doses from the World Health Organization (WHO)-backed COVAX facility, nine million Johnson & Johnson shots and 1.5 million AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccines - pushing the total supply secured so far to over 40 million. Covax is a global initiative that ensures rapid and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all countries regardless of their income level.

The Federal Government blamed the delay in the arrival of the first batch of 100,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on "politics and logistics due to no fault of Nigeria".

"When all those requirements are met and we believe that the Philippines is on track to do that, we are looking potentially up to a maximum of 9.2 million doses coming through the COVAX facility already in February, March, April of this year", he said.

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Mohammed, a member of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, said government had also accessed the African Union (AU) and other worldwide agencies for vaccines. The regional and local COVID-19 vaccination operations centers are also directed to develop their own deployment and vaccination plans based on the templates disseminated by the DOH. Duque made the remark as the DOH welcomed the offer of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to convert its churches into COVID-19 vaccination sites.

The Philippine Government through its Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has earlier granted both Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA), which means that these vaccines can be safely administered once they become available.

The vaccines from Covax will be administered on healthcare workers, medical-related personnel and other frontliners.

Ujah said that the law would also help to reduce the number of people violating the COVID-19 protocols in the country. She added that the Health Department would have a hard time monitoring the vaccine's side effects in an individual inoculated with an unauthorized or smuggled brand. But Recto said the national stockpile should consider a possible surge in cases on top of regular caseloads of public hospitals.

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