Some 2 million doses of vaccines against COVID-19 developed by China’s Sinovac BioTech and Russia’s Gamaleya Institute are anticipated to arrive in the Philippines this month, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said Tuesday.
Of the two million doses, 1.5 million will be Sinovac’s CoronaVac while 500,000 will be Gamaleya’s Sputnik V.
Galvez also said that the government is still struggling to secure ample vaccine doses for Filipinos due to problems in global supply. In fact, he noted, the Philippines initially expected to receive 4 million doses of vaccines this month but that it was eventually trimmed to just 2 million doses.
“Inaasahan din po namin sa mga susunod na mga buwan ay ganoon din po ang mangyayari, talagang ang ating sitwasyon po sa global supply ay napakahirap po iyong first quarter at saka second quarter,” he explained in a Palace briefing.
(We are anticipating it will be the same in the coming months because our global supply situation is really difficult for the first quarter and second quarter.)
He then said he expects vaccine supply to adjust accordingly once major vaccine-producing countries have finished inoculating their people.
Galvez earlier said that delivery of COVID-19 vaccines from the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility will be slightly delayed due to “global logistic constraints.”
A total of 979,200 doses from AstraZeneca is expected to arrive in the Philippines in early April, he previously said, but the shots may arrive later this month instead, citing information from WHO country representative Rabindra Abeyasinghe.
Galvez disclosed that the government is using diplomatic channels to ensure that the country will be able to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine.