MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines and India are in talks for the supply of eight million or more doses of Covaxin, a COVID-19 vaccine developed in India, India’s ambassador to the Philippines said Wednesday.
“On Covaxin, we have an ongoing discussion. As you know the registration for emergency use is still pending with the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and there are ongoing conversations for a supply of Covaxin which can range anywhere from eight million doses upwards,” Indian Ambassador Shambhu Kumaran said over ABS-CBN News Channel.
He said, however, that the timeline on when the vaccines could arrive depends on when the contract with the Philippines would be finalized.
“It really depends on when we commence these discussions. The earlier we start, the larger the possibility. But I think the eight million is doable. How soon it comes in will depend on the time that we close the contract,” he explained.
“Once we close the contract, the nature of the vaccines requires at least 45 days for the production to be completed. We could look at it to 20 million over the next year and a half but how much of that would come early is actually the big question,” he added.
Bharat Biotech has applied for an emergency use authorization (EUA) of Covaxin in January. However, FDA Director-General Eric Domingo said in February that Bharat Biotech has yet to submit documents from clinical trials.
Kumaran said that Bharat Biotech has submitted the interim data from phase 3 trials of the vaccine to the FDA on Tuesday evening.
“I am not sure why we have not started negotiations. I hope that we can start tomorrow. We are ready. The company is ready. I believe that there was perhaps a degree of patience on the Philippine side because the phase 3 data have not been shared, but I am happy to share with you and your viewers that the interim data was shared last evening with the FDA,” he said.
According to Kumaran, Bharat “has had one or two representations with the FDA for the supply of the vaccines but the commercial negotiations which involve signing of a term sheet and eventually moving into a contract are still pending.”
Bharat Biotech earlier revealed that preliminary data from phase 3 trials for the Covaxin showed it has an efficacy rate of 81 percent.
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