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194K doses of Moderna vaccine arriving in May

National Task Force Against Covid-19 chief implementer, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., said yesterday that some 194,000 doses of Moderna vaccine will be delivered in the Philippines next month.

Galvez, also the country’s vaccine czar, said this will be the first batch of the 13 million doses of Moderna Covid-19 vaccine procured by the government through a bilateral agreement.

“We have already signed the supply agreement and the first doses – 194,000 – will arrive this coming May,” Galvez said in a virtual Palace presser.

Apart from government-procured jabs, the Moderna company will send an additional seven million doses of Covid-19 vaccine purchased by the private sector.

Galvez added that bulk of the Moderna’s deliveries will arrive in the third and fourth quarters this year.

He said the Maryland-based biotechnology company, Novavax, will send Covid-19 jabs within the third and fourth quarters this year.

“We have sealed a supply agreement to secure 13 million doses from Novavax, we are just finalizing the financing,” he said.

Galvez, meanwhile, said the AstraZeneca firm will resume its deliveries in June.

“It will be continuous until the first quarter of 2022,” he added.

The Philippines has initially received 525,600 doses of AstraZeneca through the Covax Facility.

20M SPUTNIK V JABS

Galvez also said the Philippines will sign a supply agreement with Russia’s pharmaceutical firm Gamaleya Research Institute this week for 20 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine.

He added that once the contract is sealed, Gamaleya will send an initial 500,000 doses this month.

In a separate interview over ABS-CBN News Channel, Galvez said Sputnik V may also be given to the elderly “in the absence of AstraZeneca”.

Gamaleya’s emergency use authorization, as approved by the Food and Drug Administration, showed that the Russian jabs may be used for individuals aged 18 years and above, including the elderly.

Galvez expressed full trust in the Russian manufacturer.

“The Gamaleya Research Institute has been there for almost 30 years, they are one of the best vaccine makers. One expertise is the viral vector,” he said.

Galvez said he is optimistic that once the Sputnik V, also to be administered in two doses, is delivered, the Philippines’ supply would become stable “considering its steady production and support to all developing countries”.

During their negotiations, Galvez said Gamaleya also offered to increase the country’s supply.*PNA

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