Procured 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine arriving March 21 — Galvez
MANILA, Philippines — One million doses of COVID-19 vaccine procured by the government are set to arrive in the Philippines on March 21, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said Sunday.
Galvez reiterated that the Chinese government has also pledged to donate 400,000 more doses of COVID-19 vaccine, in addition to the 600,000 doses of Sinovac Biotech’s CoronaVac that were earlier donated to the Philippines.
“Meron po tayong naprocure na 1 million na darating po sa (We have procured 1 million doses arriving on) March 21 and then with the generosity of the Chinese government, another 400,000 will be given to us, so 1.4 million ang darating (we have 1.4 million doses) coming this March,” he said during the vaccine rollout at the QualiMed Hospital in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
“Naprocess na po namin, naibigay na po namin ang purchase order. And then nangako rin po ang ating World Health Organization (WHO) na meron pa pong parating na AstraZeneca na 4.5 million until May. So kung ko-computin po natin, every month meron po tayong darating na 1.5 million,” he added.
(We have already processed it, we have already given the purchase order. The WHO also promised to give 4.5 million doses of AstraZeneca until May. So if we compute it, we will have 1.5 million doses arriving every month.)
While Galvez did not mention which brand of COVID-19 vaccine will arrive on March 21 and the vaccines that will be donated by China, he was earlier reported to have said in a CNN Philippines interview that the country is set to receive one million doses of Sinovac’s vaccine on “March 21 and onwards.”
He also previously said that the one million doses of procured CoronaVac vaccine may be delivered to the Philippines in the third week of March.
FDA Director-General Eric Domingo earlier said that CoronaVac’s efficacy rate on healthcare workers stands at 50.4 percent based on clinical trials conducted in Brazil, making it not the best vaccine to be given to medical frontliners exposed to COVID-19 patients.
He added that the Sinovac vaccine, despite getting an emergency use authorization from the local FDA, should only be administered to clinically healthy individuals aged 18 to 59 years old, citing a higher efficacy rate of 65.3 percent among clinically healthy people within this age group based on clinical trials in Indonesia, and 91.2 percent based on clinical trials in Turkey.
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