Initial vaccine shipments due to arrive by February 20
Vaccine Czar Galvez says Pfizer and SinoVac vaccines due to reach Manila by February 20
MANILA – The long wait for vaccines may soon be over as Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. said vaccines from Pfizer and SinoVac are due to arrive in Manila by February 20. Secretary Galvez, who sits as Chief Implementer of the National Policy Against COVID-19, and recently named vaccine czar said he talked with COVAX facility and learned there’s a strong possibility they will be sending vaccines here.
He said he already talked with the WHO and UNICEF which committed to bring Pfizer faccines.
He added some 50,000 doses of SinoVac vaccines will also arrive on February 20 and would be sending some 950,000 by March and two million in the coming months.
Secretary Galvez said they are preparing for the logistical requirement for the vaccine deployment and would be ready by January 30th, in time for the arrival of the first two shipments. A series of inspections next week have been lined-up as they will follow-up on the storage capacities of the country’s cold-chain facilities for vaccines.
“The facilities are located at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), University of the Philippines (UP) and the San Lazaro Hospital,” Secretary Galvez said. They have also scheduled inspection of the privately-owned cold-chain facilities of Zuellig and Unilab.
Secretary Galvez said they will also train personnel who will do the vaccination together with the mobilization of security forces and preparation for partner-stakeholders as well.
He explained Pfizer vaccines would require -70•C while Moderna at -20•C, will be stored in hubs in Manila, Davao and Cebu.
Vaccines in need of 2•C-8•C storage including SinoVac, Johnson&Johnsoon, AstraZeneca and Novavax may be sent to far-flung areas.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Embassy in Manila said SinoVac has applied for Emergency Use Authorization of its COVId-19 vaccine with the Philippines’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
In its Facebook page, the Embassy said the Philippines bought 25 million doses of SinoVac’s CoronaVac, with 50,000 doeses expected to arrive on February 20, (Melo M. Acuña)
Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. (File Photo)