40 million free vaccines arriving in February

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A top Palace official hinted on the arrival of 40 million free doses of COVID-19 vaccines sometime next month.

“Ikinagagalak ko pong ibalita na ang atin pong COVAX facility para sa Pilipinas ay naaprubahan na po. Siguro mayroon po tayong 30 to 40 million na doses for free para po sa lahat ng ating kababayan,” vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez said at a “Laging Handa” public briefing.

“Kaya po nagpe-prepare na po tayo, nakita po natin ‘yung pinublish po na guidelines from COVAX na confirmation so magandang balita po ito,” added Galvez.

Galvez said that they are already preparing for the Pfizer vaccines, which is expected to be arriving first.

“Sa ngayon, wala pa po tayong definite po na vaccine na mauuna nilang i-deploy. Pero most likely ‘yung Pfizer, we’re preparing for Pfizer,” Galvez said, adding that the national government has been negotiating with the biopharmaceutical firms as part of its preparation for the arrival of the vaccines.

“Dahil inaasahan ang pagdating ng bakuna tulad ng COVAX, we are presently negotiating with 18 logistics companies, and four companies with ultra-cold storage capacity,” Galvez said.

“Ito po ay paghahanda ng gobyerno sa mga darating na bakuna,” he added.

COVAX (COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access) Facility is a globally-pooled vaccine procurement and distribution effort co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

It aims to ensure fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. It intends to deliver two billion doses of safe and effective vaccines to all participating countries by the end of 2021.

“Mahalaga po ‘yung COVAX facility kasi nakita po natin dito ‘yung vaccine na ibibigay ng WHO, UNICEF at saka ng Gavi COVAX ay libre po ‘yun at saka magaganda po, tinatawag nating validated ng WHO, kasama po ang Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Covovax (India) at saka Johnson & Johnson (Janssen Pharmaceutica Belgium),” Galvez quipped. 

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