MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is expecting to receive millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses this month from Pfizer and AstraZeneca under the World Health Organization (WHO)-led COVAX Facility, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez said Wednesday.
In his report to President Rodrigo Duterte during a Cabinet briefing, Galvez said the COVAX Facility may deliver more or less two million doses of AstraZeneca this May.
“Maganda po ang magiging volumes natin this coming May dahil may positive na nangyari na yung COVAX baka makapagdeliver ng Pfizer at saka ng Astrazeneca,” he said.
“Yung second dose wala na po tayong problema. Meron tayong makukuha ngayong May more or less na two million na AstraZeneca,” he added.
For Pfizer vaccines, Galvez said around 1.3 million doses will be delivered in May.
“Maganda po yung negotiation namin kanina ng Pfizer at dadaloy na nga po iyong Pfizer [under] COVAX [facility]. May assurance na po na 1.3 million ang darating sa May,” he said.
He said an initial batch of 193,000 doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines will “most likely” arrive on May 11.
Galvez said this shipment will serve as a logistical run to prepare for the arrival of additional Pfizer vaccine doses, which require storage temperature conditions of -70°C.
“Parang yun po ang tinatawag nating mini rollout ng Pfizer para magamay po naming yung -70 [temperature requirement],” he said.
Galvez said local government units in the National Capital Region, as well as in Davao and Cebu are preparing for the delivery and storage of Pfizer vaccines.
“Prepared na po ang mga LGU ng NCR, at titingnan din po natin ang Davao at Cebu, ipiprepare din po natin kasi ang sabi po ng Pfizer, diretso po doon ang delivery doon sa Davao at Cebu kasi napaka-critical po. So hindi na po dadaan ng Manila,” he said.
“Kaya paplanuhin po naming yung delivery ng Pfizer,” he added.
With the possible delivery of vaccines from COVAX Facility, Galvez said the country may expect the delivery of around 7 million vaccine doses from the initial four million
“Ang maganda po dito, ‘yung delivery natin ng May, baka from 4 million ay madaragdagan tayo ng 7 million. Malaki po yun kasi ang nadagdag po dito yung COVAX,” he said.
Galvez previously said the government will start the vaccination of individuals in the A4 and A5 priority sectors by June, and the general population by August or September once the bulk of vaccine supply arrives.