PH may secure 3% of its vaccine demand from COVAX pool next year – DOST

By CNN Philippines Staff

The Philippines may secure around three percent of its demand for COVID-19 vaccine from the COVAX facility’s global vaccine pool next year, an official from the Science and Technology Department said on Sunday.

This comes after COVAX, the global initiative that seeks to ensure countries’ “equitable access” to coronavirus vaccines, announced it has secured nearly two billion doses of several vaccine candidates which will be made available to 190 participating nations, including the Philippines.

“Fifteen percent ng ating demand ay ibibigay ng COVAX facility… pero ito po ay laging ine-emphasize ay depende ‘yan sa supply,” DOST Philippine Council for Health Research and Development Executive Director Dr. Jaime Montoya told CNN Philippines’ Newsroom Weekend when asked of the supply the country may receive from the program.

Ang maa-assure lang nila definitely is 3 percent ng requirements natin ay ibibigay by next year,” he added, but did not detail further on the values. A three percent population coverage would equate to around 3.3 million Filipinos.

[Translation: 15 percent of our demand will be given by the COVAX facility. But as we always emphasize, it really depends on the supply. What they can assure is definitely, three percent of our requirements will be given next year.]

The Philippines is among the dozens of countries eligible to participate in the COVAX facility, which tapped the vaccine doses through supply agreements from different companies and manufacturers around the globe. Initial rollout is planned during the first quarter of 2021, according to the World Health Organization.

“The arrangements will enable all participating economies to have access to doses in the first half of 2021, with first deliveries anticipated to begin in the first quarter of 2021 contingent upon regulatory approvals and countries’ readiness for delivery,” WHO said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Montoya said other vaccines, including China’s Sinovac and Clover Biopharmaceutical, Russia’s Gamaleya, and US’ Janssen are still undergoing review before they can hold clinical trials in the country.

The Philippines has so far secured 2.6 million doses from British drugmaker AstraZeneca through the help of the private sector, with the second batch of procurement also in the works.

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