By Deighton Acuin


The Philippine government has signed a supply agreement with American pharmaceutical firm Pfizer-BioNTech securing a purchase of 40 million coronavirus vaccine doses.

According to National Task Force against COVID-19 Chief Implementer and Vaccine Czar Carlito Galvez Jr., the shipment will arrive in bulk and is set to start “after eight weeks starting August.”

“We are very happy to report that the government and the management of Pfizer have finally concluded our negotiations. Secretary Duque and I signed yesterday the supply agreement for the biggest and most decisive deal we had for 2021,” Galvez said in a statement. 

“I would like to thank my colleagues from the Philippine vaccine negotiating team from the Department of Finance and our multilateral partner for tirelessly working to secure these much-needed shots that will benefit 20 million Filipinos," he added.

Galvez said the funds used for Pfizer procurement is from the Asia Development Bank’s (ADB) multilateral agreement. He also assured transparency in securing such deals as payments are being settled by the fund managers directly to manufacturers.

The vaccine czar also said that other agreements securing a total of 16 million doses from Johnson & Johnson and Novavax are undergoing negotiations.

Following the signing of the Pfizer agreement, the country has so far secured 157 million doses. By the numbers, 26 million doses from China-based Sinovac Biotech, 10 million from Russia’s Gamaleya Institute, 20 million from Moderna, 17 million from British drugmaker AstraZeneca, and 44 million doses from the World Health Organization (WHO)-led COVAX Global Vaccine Sharing platform.

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.

The country’s regulator has also granted Pfizer the authority to administer vaccines to people aged 12-years-old and above.

The NTF, however, said the vaccination of minors will be after the inoculation of the general adult population.

As of Sunday, the Department of Health (DOH) reported 1,359,015 total COVID-19 cases, 1,277,715 recoveries, and 23,621 moralities.

Meanwhile, as of May 18, 8,050,711 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the country of which 5,953,810 individuals have received the first dose while 2,096,901 individuals have completed two doses.

Report source: GMA News