PH to get Pfizer, AstraZeneca vaccines starting mid-February

The country is set to receive the first wave of Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines from the COVAX Facility starting mid-February.

In a letter addressed to the Department of Health (DOH), COVAX Facility Managing Director Aurélia Nguyen said their office will distribute 117,000 doses of Pfizer BNT162b2 vaccine and 5,500,800 to 9,290,400 indicative doses of AstraZeneca AZD1222 vaccine to the Philippines subject to the UNICEF Supply Division and Pan American Health Organization establishing supply agreements with the manufacturers.

COVAX is a global initiative that ensures rapid and equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines for all countries regardless of their income level.

Nguyen said the delivery of the vaccines within in the timeframe would also be subject to the completion of the distribution requirements.

These are indemnity and liability frameworks, including the required legislative framework in place; and execution and providing documentation of national regulatory approval or proof of recognition or reliance on another type of regulatory approval, import license, and signed indemnity and liability agreement.

“We will be regularly communicating updates on expected doses and remain confident that we will be able to meet our commitment to you by the end of 2021,” Nguyen said.

On Monday, the DOH said the country will continue to receive vaccine allocation for 20 percent of the population from COVAX.

It noted that only 15 percent will be free and the remaining 5 percent will be paid by the government. The agency also assured the public that the budget for the 5 percent has been secured.

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