14M vaccine doses to arrive in 2nd quarter

Nearly 14 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines are expected to arrive in the Philippines in the second quarter of the year, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. announced on Monday.

In his report to President Rodrigo Duterte aired over state-run PTV-4 on Monday night, Galvez said the delivery of 1.5 million doses of Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccine was expected to be completed in April.

MONDAY BRIEFING President Rodrigo Duterte talks to Sen. Christopher Lawrence ‘Bong’ Go and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana before his report to the nation on April 19, 2021. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

He said some 500,000 Sinovac doses might arrive on April 22, followed by another 500,000 doses on April 29.

The Chinese drugmaker shipped out 500,000 doses on April 11. These are on top of the 2 million doses that Sinovac had delivered to the country in February and March.

“The global supply is limited but the government is doing its best to ensure that the country will have a fair share of the vaccines,” Galvez said.

“The instruction of President Rodrigo Duterte is for Filipinos to be vaccinated and save more lives as we collectively surmount the challenges brought about by the pandemic,” he added.

Galvez said an initial 20,000 doses of the Russian-made Sputnik V were also expected to arrive this week.

The second tranche of 480,000 doses will be delivered before the end of April, he added.

The Philippine government is also expecting the shipment of 195,000 Pfizer vaccine doses by the end of April or early May, according to Galvez.

He said there was also a possibility that AstraZeneca vaccines coming from the Covax Facility would also arrive within the month.

For May, according to Galvez, the government expects at least 2 million doses of Sinovac vaccines to be delivered to the country, along with 1 to 2 million Sputnik V doses, and 194,000 Moderna doses.

He said the government was also working with the World Health Organization, Gavi and United Nations Children’s Fund for the possible delivery of Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines under the Covax Facility.

In June, the Philippines expects to receive 7 to 8 million vaccine doses, Galvez added.
These, he said, include 4.5 million doses of Sinovac, 2 million doses of Sputnik V and 1.3 million doses of AstraZeneca.

“With the arrival of these vaccines, we will continue our aggressive vaccine roll-out in the county to protect the Filipino from Covid-19,” the vaccine czar added. As of April 18, more than 1.4 million vaccine doses have been administered in the country.

Currently, only medical frontliners, senior citizens and persons with comorbidities are being inoculated.

Starting mid-May or June, the government will allow the inoculation of other essential workers.

To date, six vaccine makers have obtained regulatory approval for emergency use in the country — Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Sinovac, Gamaleya Institute, Johnson & Johnson and Bharat Biotech.

In the third and fourth quarters of the year, the Philippines may receive a steady supply of about 10 to 15 million vaccine doses per month, Galvez said.

The global vaccine supply has remained limited, with the situation being compounded by the inequitable distribution of vaccines.

The Philippine government aims to inoculate 70 million adult Filipinos to achieve herd immunity.