PH secures 2.6M shots of AstraZeneca’s Covid jab
By Lade Jean Kabagani
MANILA (Philippines News Agency) – The 2.6 million doses of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine developed in the United Kingdom are now secured as the national government, alongside the private sector, signed a tripartite agreement with the AztraZeneca pharmaceutical company on Friday.
In a virtual signing ceremony, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion said half of the 2.6 million shots to be procured under the sealed agreement would be donated to the government while the other half would be used by private companies in the country.
“We hope these vaccines will arrive in the month of May or June next year, but at least, we are secured that the 2.6 million vaccines will help about 1.5 million-plus Filipino people,” Concepcion said.
Meanwhile, National Policy Against Covid-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., expressed confidence in the Covid-19 vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca.
“Over the years, it made a reputation for producing high-quality drugs and vaccines,” Galvez said, adding that stringent health protocols in the evaluation and selection of the Covid-19 vaccine would be imposed to ensure that this would be safe and effective for the Filipino people.
He called the initial acquisition of the 2.6 million doses of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine a “game-changer” towards the country’s recovery from the impact of the pandemic.
“We are also negotiating with AstraZeneca for the possible purchase of another (one) million doses of vaccines,” Galvez said.
On the other hand, Concepcion said the acquisition of the Covid-19 vaccine involves a non-profit negotiation.
“It’s a very affordable vaccine,” he said, adding that the company also has a reputable image in terms of drug and vaccine development.
Galvez said AstraZeneca is one of the leading developers of a candidate vaccine with “positive results.”
He added that the government’s primary goal is to acquire equitable access to the Covid-19 vaccine.
“We want to take the opportunity to have early access with the AstraZeneca. The reputation of the company for over 40 years saving millions of people in the Philippines is very outstanding,” Galvez said, citing that the company is also backed by reputable institutions, such as Oxford University.
While the government continues to negotiate with other pharmaceutical companies, he called the agreement a significant development in ensuring that the country could acquire doses of vaccine by 2021. (PNA)