Carlito Galvez

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. on Wednesday said Covid-19 vaccines manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech could arrive before June and overtake the delivery of Sinovac vaccines.

“Baka po mauna[ng dumating] iyong [bakuna mula sa] tinatawag nating Covax facility; at ang Covax facility po, ang in-elect po nila is Pfizer,” he said in a Laging Handa briefing.

Covax is a global initiative coordinated by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and the World Health Organization (WHO).

It is a platform that supports the research, development and manufacturing of Covid-19 vaccine candidates. Covax seeks to provide countries worldwide equitable access to safe and effective vaccines, once they are licensed and approved.

Covax’s vaccine portfolio for Covid-19 includes those manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen and Novovax.

“So with that, ang mangyayari po, ang Pfizer po ang mauuna for just in case mag-qualify po tayo and then next, iyong Sinovac and then maybe iyong AstraZeneca,” Galvez said.

Galvez added that the government had engaged in negotiations with the WHO and Gavi for the early deployment of Pfizer vaccines in the country, but had yet to receive a go signal.

The Philippine government has P73.2 billion allocated for vaccine procurement in its 2021 national budget.

Galvez earlier said at least 50,000 Filipinos were expected to be vaccinated by February this year.

AstraZeneca, Sinovac

The country will secure 20 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines from British-Swedish drug firm AstraZeneca, Galvez also said on Wednesday.

“Aming pipirmahan, lalagdaan po namin ang tripartite agreement ng more or less 20 million doses para sa AstraZeneca [sa Huwebes],” he said in a Laging Handa briefing,

AstraZeneca vaccines, which are administered in two doses, have been found to be up to 90 percent effective.

The Philippines however has yet to approve AstraZeneca’s emergency use authorization application.

China’s Sinovac vaccines could be approved for emergency use in the country by Feb. 20, Galvez said.

The first batch of Sinovac vaccines is expected to arrive and be used for the country’s vaccination program in February.

At least 50,000 doses are expected to be delivered next month.

The Chinese firm had assured the country of 25 million vaccine doses by December this year, which would be delivered by batch monthly. John Ezekiel J. Hirro