A TOP government official categorically hinted on buying at least a million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech.
Shortly after the culmination of the government vaccine rollout at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez cited the need to procure the China-made vaccines amid what he claimed as a global shortage of other brands, adding that only vaccines developed, manufactured and distributed by Sinovac and Sputnik V are available.
“Kaya po tayo, mayroon tayong procurement this coming March, mayroon po tayong one million from Sinovac,” said Galvez, who admitted that they already have submitted a purchase order (PO) to Sinovac Biotech.
“May PO tayo na one million. Ang ginagawa kasi natin, ang agreement natin sa Sinovac, iyong per PO, ibig sabihin iyong Purchase Order, iyong Purchase Order na one million, mayroon na po tayong pondo doon. Ang pondo po natin doon is P700 million,” he added.
To date, only the two-shot Sinovac vaccine is the only available COVID-19 vaccine brand in the country – the 600,000 donated doses, which arrived in the country Sunday afternoon.
“So once na napirmahan na po namin iyon, dadating po ang one million doses this coming March po, in tranches po. Nakita po natin iyong 500,000 [doses] ay [isasakay sa] isang malaking eroplano po iyon, so in two tranches po iyon,” Galvez pointed out.
Asked for updates on the country’s bid for other brands, Galvez said that the country’s supply agreements with COVID-19 vaccine brands Moderna, Johnson and Johnson, and Novavax are still pending.
The Philippine Food and Drug Administration has already granted emergency use authorization to Sinovac, Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca.