COVID-19 vaccines are set to arrive in the country within this month; thereby, making its arrival ahead of the COVAX vaccines promised by the World Health Organization.
According to presidential spokesperson, Harry Roque, the Chinese pharmaceutical company, Sinovac Biotech has allocated 25 million of its vaccine for the Philippines.
This quantity does not include the 600,000 doses that Sinovac has already committed to donate with delivery scheduled to arrive this February 23.
Advantage to Filipinos
Meanwhile, Philippine Ambassador to China Jose Santiago Sta. Romana has confidence in China’s capability for on-time delivery despite having to meet supply demands from other countries in Southeast Asia, India and Brazil.
He reported China’s success of vaccinating 40 million people which went smoothly and had very few adverse effects. Such operation also included Filipino doctors working in the country.
No Specific Brand
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Chief Eric Domingo stated that in its quest to vaccinate the country’s 100 million population, President Duterte has no specific brand preference; hence, FDA is anticipating applications from other drugmakers such as the United States’ Moderna and Novavax.
So far, FDA has granted emergency permits to Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca, the latter being on emergency use listing, issued by WHO last Feb 15, for a global rollout via COVAX.
For Duterte’s military bodyguards, FDA has given compassionate use license for 10,000 doses of New Crown, the vaccine manufactured by Sinopharm, another Chinese pharmaceutical company.