IT will be the biggest vaccine procurement deal to be signed by the Philippine government for this year.
A supply agreement was signed between the government and Pfizer-BioNTech that guarantees 40 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines developed, manufactured and distributed by the American bio-pharmaceutical firm.
In a statement, National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF) Chief Implementer and Vaccine Czar Carlito Galvez said that they have already concluded the negotiation for the supply deal required by the government to ensure an effective vaccine rollout in the country.
“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.
“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.
Unlike other vaccines procured by the Philippines government, Pfizer vaccines, procured through multilateral arrangement with the Asian Development Bank, will be delivered in bulk starting August this year.
He also hinted at a mechanism embarking on transparency via direct disbursement scheme on loan funds from multilateral partners, wherein payments are paid “directly by the fund manager to the vaccine manufacturer.”
“Through this scheme, the Filipino people can be assured that our transactions on vaccine procurement will be transparent, as the funds will not pass through the hands of any government official or agency. Wala pong dumadaan na pera sa amin,” he said.
As for other supply agreements, Galvez said vaccine deals of around 16 million doses from Novavax and Johnson & Johnson are still under negotiation.
Earlier, the government said it is also eyeing to sign a supply agreement for six million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.
With the recent supply deal from Pfizer, the Philippines secured the delivery of 113 million doses from five vaccine makers namely, Sinovac with 26 million doses, Sputnik V with 10 million doses, 20 million doses from Moderna, 17 million doses from AstraZeneca, and 40 million doses from Pfizer.
The COVAX facility has also committed to deliver a total of 44 million doses to the country this year, bringing to 157 million doses the total number of doses secured by the Philippines.
The Department of Health also previously approved Pfizer vaccines for inoculation of individuals aged 12 and above.
However, the NTF said it would first start vaccination of the adult population and vulnerable sector before moving to the inoculation of children.