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  • Writer's pictureMelo Acuna

One million Sinovac vaccines due to arrive this month

Vaccine czar Galvez, other officials assure health frontline workers of enough vaccines

MANILA – The Philippines is expected to receive a million doses of Sinovac vaccines covered by two purchase orders. He said there are enough funds amounting to P700 million.

“As soon as we sign the agreement, one million doses of Sinovac vaccines will delivered to Manila this March, in tranches because we saw 500,000 doses was loaded in one big transport plane, so there will be two tranches,” Secretary Galvez said in a press briefing from the Philippine General Hospital before midday today.

During the same event, Secretary Galvez said the government has appropriated P700 million for the one million doses of Sinovac vaccines.

He expressed optimism the country will receive vaccines from different manufacturers as the government prepares to sign agreements with Moderna, Novavax and with Gamaleya for its Sputnik V.

He explained they will talk with Moderna today and would enter into the final phase of the supply agreement.

“With the US Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the Johnson & Johnson (one-jab vaccine), we’re into the final draft for signature. We will also fly to India from March 9-12 for our supply agreement with Novavax and probably sign a separate agreement for AstraZeneca from the Serum Institute of India,” he further said.

He confirmed local government units finalized negotiations with AstraZeneca. He said they are waiting for the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of Russia’s Gamaleya for the Sputnik V for the Philippines to enter into a separate supply agreement.

Secretary Galvez confirmed agreements have been signed for 17 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines and 25 million doses of Sinovac vaccines.

It was learned Johnson & Johnson’s supply officer is in town to orient himself with the country’s logistics system.

He said the signing of agreements are simply ministerial on his part.

Asked further if it would be safe for the government to disclose the purchase price of the vaccines covered by the agreements, Secretary Galvez said he cannot because there is no final price yet for vaccines from Novavax as it may go down to US$2 or to less than US$1.

“From what we can see, prices are both affordable and descent. The vaccines’ prices are quite good,” he further said.

The press conference was held at the sidelines of the mass inoculation for medical frontline workers of the Philippine General Hospital where its director, Dr. Gerardo Legazpi received his first jab.

Government officials led by Secretaries Galvez and Roque and Manila Mayor Francisco “Iskho Moreno” Domagoso said there will be enough vaccines for all medical frontline workers.

Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque also said Sinopharm has already applied with the country’s Food and Drug Administration for the Emergency Use Authority shortly before midday today. (Melo M. Acuña)

Vaccine Czar Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. (left) and PGH Director Dr. Gerardo Legazpi (right) speaking at the Press Conference at PGH Monday midmorning. (Screen grab from Facebook Live/Melo M. Acuña)

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