Malacañang on Monday said the Philippines has secured first 25 million doses of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine developed by Chinese biopharmaceutical company, Sinovac Biotech Ltd.
“Sang-ayon po sa Department of Health, magkakaroon na po tayo ng unang 25 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine from Sinovac. Dadating na ang bakuna sa Pilipinas sa susunod na buwan (According to the Department of Health, we will have the first 25 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine from Sinovac. The vaccines will arrive in the Philippines next month),” Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a regular virtual Palace press briefing.
Roque said the first 50,000 of the 25 million vaccine doses will arrive next month aside from 15,000 to be used for Sinovac’s clinical trials in the country.
“At least, by February, 65,000 na ang mabibigyan ng bakuna (But at least, 65,000 will be inoculated by February),” he said.
He stressed that the Sinovac vaccine is “proven safe” with 91.25 percent efficacy rate based on late-stage clinical trials.
“There’s nothing spectacular about Sinovac other than it’s been proven safe and efficient,” Roque said
He said Sinovac will deliver additional 950,000 doses of vaccines in March, 1 million doses in April, 1 million doses in May, and 2 million doses in June until all 25 million doses are delivered by December this year.
“Bakit po ako tumigil ng June? Kasi po pagdating ng June, July darating na rin po ang Pfizer at ang July, AstraZeneca (Why I stopped in June? Because by June and July, vaccines of Pfizer and AstraZeneca will arrive),” Roque said.
Aside from Sinovac, the government has also signed deals for vaccines developed by the Serum Institute of India (SII) and British pharmaceutical AstraZeneca.
Roque, particularly, noted that some 30 million of the Indian-made Covovax vaccines would be delivered by the third quarter.
“Iyan na po iyong ating fineature [featured] ‘no, 30 million po (That’s what we already featured — the 30 million [vaccine doses]). Delivery will be the third quarter,” he said.
The Presidential Communications Operations Office has also announced that the SII is now coordinating with US-based Novovax Inc. to develop and commercialized Covovax, which is now in third stage trials and expected to be approved for use by the international regulators.
According to the PCOO, the Covovax vaccine will be used to inoculate 15 million Filipinos belonging to the vulnerable and poor sectors.
Roque said the priority areas for Covid-19 vaccination include Metro Manila, the Cordillera Administrative Region, Calabarzon, Davao Region, and Cebu City.
As for the priority sectors, Roque said health care workers, uniformed personnel, and indigent citizens top the list. (Filane Mikee Cervantes/PNA)