Philippine vaccine deals with Moderna, Pfizer likely in two weeks’ time, says envoy

MANILA, Jan 7 (Mabuhay) — The Philippines will know in two weeks’ time how many vaccines against COVID-19 it could get from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech, Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez said Thursday.

Romualdez said Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., the country’s vaccine czar, is set to sign contracts with the two pharmaceutical companies regarding vaccine supply soon.

“We’ve been meeting with Moderna and Pfizer and mukang si Secretary Galvez ay malapit nang mapirmahan yung kontrata na we’re trying to get vaccines from these two pharmaceutical companies,” Romualdez said.

“Meron na siyang kausap sa Moderna at Pfizer, malalaman natin within the next couple of weeks, I think within the next two weeks, kung how many of their vaccines we’ll be able to get.”

Period of delivery, however, is yet to be determined, according to Romualdez, but Department of Science and Technology–Philippine Council for Health Research Development executive director Jaime Montoya earlier said COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna could be the first ones to be made available in the country.

Galvez has earlier said they are expecting to “strike a deal” with vaccine-makers in January 2021.

Pfizer, an American firm, in December 2020 submitted to the Food and Drug Administration an application for emergency use authorization. The FDA said decision will be out by January 14.

Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine has been proven at least 95% effective after human trials. Since then, it has secured EUA from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Singapore, among others.

Around 50 million to 70 million Filipinos are expected to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in 2021, according to the government.  (MNS)

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