The Philippines can’t afford to arrange additional new orders for Moderna and AstraZeneca coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines because both companies have already met their full capacity, according to Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion.

“Dito naman sa Moderna, si Mr. (Enrique) Razon ng ICTSI [International Container Terminal Services, Inc.], siya ang nag-lead dito sa efforts kasama ng government sa pagkuha dito sa mga Moderna vaccines. Pero alam ko naman na sarado na yata. And I think they’ve already committed their full allocation. They are not anymore taking orders for this,” Go Negosyo founder Concepcion said at the Laging Handa public briefing.

However, Concepcion cleared that the government and the business sector have been negotiating with other international pharmaceutical firms for the supply of Covid-19 vaccines.

“‘Yung available ngayon, ang Novavax. ‘Yung AstraZeneca wala rin eh, wala nang mga supply. ‘Yung 17 million [doses], ‘yun ang huling order,” he added, saying that he tried negotiating for a third batch of AstraZeneca vaccines but failed.

“Dito na lang sa Novavax… Habang maaga pa, mag-order na sila,” the presidential adviser said.

Concepcion recently convened with private companies and small businesses to discuss the procurement of 17 million doses of Novavax vaccines. 

Meanwhile, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said during a Senate committee hearing last week that the government is still finalizing the supply agreements with Sinovac, Novavax, and Moderna.

The country is expecting to vaccinate 50 to 70 million individuals within the year, with an estimated 50,000 to be inoculated in February. 

As per government’s vaccination roadmap, the top priorities are healthcare workers and frontliners from select government offices. Second priorities are indigent senior citizens, other senior citizens, and other indigents. Ronald dela Cruz