Faberco Life Sciences, Inc. founder Kishore Hemlani (left) and Philippine vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. sign a deal for 30 million doses of the Covovax vaccine. (Photo from SSI)

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. on Wednesday said the country was studying the possibility of producing Covid-19 vaccines locally.

Galvez said the government had been talking to Serum Institute of India (SII), the biggest vaccine manufacturer worldwide, about local vaccine production.

“Tayo po ay nakipag-usap sa SII upang pag-aralan ang posibilidad na ibalik ang kakayahan ng ating bansa na makapag-produce ng sarili nitong bakuna,” he said over the Kapihan sa Manila Bay program.

Galvez has just completed a trip to India where he signed a supply agreement for 30 million doses of Novavax vaccines, which are expected to arrive in the third or fourth quarter of 2021.

“Ang ganda po ng SII. Meron silang 136 na scientists at gusto nilang tulungan tayo na tayo ay makapag-produce ng sarili nating bakuna,” he added.

Galvez had said that the Philippines would get 161 million Covid-19 vaccine doses this year from various drug manufacturers.

The country has so far received 1.12 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines donated by manufacturers Sinovac and AstraZeneca.

The country aims to inoculate up to 70 million Filipinos this year to achieve herd immunity. John Ezekiel J. Hirro