At least 30 million doses of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine Novavax are set to arrive in the Philippines by the second half of the year.
National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. announced on Tuesday, March 16, that the country has signed a supply agreement with the Serum Institute of India for the acquisition of the Novavax vaccine.
Galvez said they are just waiting for the approval of the Serum Institute’s application for emergency use authorization (EUA) in the United Kingdom (UK), the United States (US), and the Philippines.
The government expects the vaccines to be delivered by the third and fourth quarters this year.
“Naging maganda ang resulta ng pagbyahe natin sa India nung isang linggo (Our travel to India last week produced positive results),” Galvez said during the Laging Handa press briefing.
Moreover, Sinovac’s CoronaVac is set to deliver 1.4 million doses within this month.
The country is likewise slated to receive the second tranche of AstraZeneca vaccines by late March or early April through the COVAX Facility of the World Health Organization (WHO), Galvez said.
The vaccine czar reported that around 216,794 medical frontliners and other healthcare workers had been vaccinated as of Tuesday, while a total of 929 vaccination sites are conducting inoculations in 17 regions as of Monday, March 15.
“We want to emphasize that the initial vaccine rollout is only for medical front-liners belonging to the A1 priority list of the Department of Health,” he said in Filipino.
“It must be well-calibrated and done by batches,” he added. “There is a need to observe this schedule to protect the integrity of the healthcare system.”
Strictly observing its schedule and system in the healthcare workers’ vaccination, the government is set to accommodate senior citizens by the second or third week of April.
The NTF reported about 96 percent of available doses in the country have already been distributed, reaching the northernmost and southernmost island provinces.
The government assured the vaccination rollout for the general public will immediately be implemented once the bulk of government-procured vaccines intended for the following priority groups arrived.