The Philippines has breached the 50-million supply mark of COVID-19 vaccine doses after receiving more than three million doses of vaccines from China and Russia on Tuesday.
This developed as the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 said 54.5 million doses of the coronavirus disease vaccines are slated for delivery within the next two months.
The bulk of COVID-19 vaccines from Chinese manufacturer Sinovac set to arrive in the Philippines Tuesday will go to the provinces, vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez said.
In other developments:
* The Philippines will not suspend use of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines after foreign substances were discovered in Moderna vaccines in Japan, Food and Drug Administration director general Eric Domingo said Tuesday.
* Once Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine receives full authorization, the FDA yesterday said it can be used as a booster shot, as Domingo said they have given its list of requirements for Pfizer’s application for full authorization.
The doses of Sinovac and Sputnik V vaccines were immediately transported to the temperature-controlled supply chain facility owned by Pharmaserv Express in Marikina City upon arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Prior to the shipments’ arrival, the country had a total of 48,885,590 doses of various brands of COVID-19 vaccines.
Galvez said the government is determined to reach its target of receiving at least 20 to 25 million doses of vaccines this September.
In line with this effort, Galvez said the government continues to negotiate and place additional orders with various vaccine manufacturers.
He said these deals include the procurement of an additional 10 million Sinovac doses to ensure a steady supply of COVID-19 vaccines, adding this latest purchase will be paid at a lower price.
“This is much lower than the original price. The supply of Sinovac is good and steady,” he said.
The national government, Galvez said, is also negotiating with US biotech firm Pfizer for the delivery of some five million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine this month.
“We have already talked to the country director of Pfizer. They can give more or less 5.02 million Pfizer shots this September,” he said.
The FDA has also recently approved the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the single-dose Sputnik Light, which the government plans to procure around two million doses of.
Meanwhile, the government is currently negotiating with Moderna for the delivery of about three to four million vaccine doses.
Domingo said Moderna vaccines that the Philippines received were manufactured separately from the ones being investigated in Japan.
“We checked with Moderna’s manufacturer and found those batches were exclusively made for Japan so the ones that arrived here were not included,” he told ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo.
“Here in the Philippines, we continue to use the vaccine and there’s no reason for us to suspend it.”
Vaccinators also check vials and syringes before inoculating, he added.
Black substances were spotted in syringes and a vial, while pink substances were found in a different syringe, Japan’s health ministry earlier said.
Two men, who had one shot from a suspended lot of vaccines, died within days of receiving their second Moderna doses, it said. The causes of death are being investigated.