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No favoritism in deploying COVID-19 jabs — Palace

By Deighton Acuin

PHOTO: PCOO

There are no playing favorites in coronavirus vaccine deployment, Malacañang said Friday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the statement when asked why Davao City has received more COVID-19 vaccine doses from United States drugmaker Pfizer-BioNTech than other provinces.

He said that the vaccines were delivered to some areas that have -40 degrees celsius special refrigeration requirements.

"Pfizer is being distributed in Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, and Metro Davao because they have the sub-zero storage needed," Roque said in a Laging Handa briefing aired on PTV-4.

"This is not playing favorites. Reyalidad lang po iyan because Pfizer is made for First World country condition...I think the (required storage) is at -40 degrees Celsius and storage facilities for that are in Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, and Metro Davao so that is the destination of Pfizer," Roque added.

The Philippines has so far received 8,279,050 COVID-19 vaccine doses. By the numbers, 5,500,000 doses were from China-based Sinovac Biotech, 2,556,000 doses from British pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca, and 193,050 doses from Pfizer-BioNTech.

Earlier, Vaccine Czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said the government procured a total of 40 million Pfizer vaccine doses but the delivery date has yet to be disclosed.

According to the evaluations conducted, Pfizer vaccine has 95% efficacy in the study population while 92% efficacy in other races, making it the highest efficacy rate from the vaccine candidates that have secured emergency use before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The FDA has so far granted an emergency use authorization (EUA) to Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Sinovac, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Bharat Biotech, and Sputnik V.

As of May 28, the Department of Health recorded 1,209,154 COVID-19 cases, 1,134,818 recoveries, 20,566 mortalities, and 53,770 active cases.

Meanwhile, as of May 25, 4,495,375 vaccine doses have already been administered in the country.