MANILA - The private sector is procuring up to 3 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to augment the government's vaccine drive, one of the country's presidential advisers said Wednesday.
In a statement, Go Negosyo founder and presidential adviser on Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion said around 1.5 million people will benefit from this initiative.
"We’re targeting 2.5 million to 3 million doses which will help 1.5 million people in the upper end of the range since the vaccine requires two doses. We want to ensure that the Philippines will not be left behind when the vaccines come out in 2021," Concepcion said.
The vaccines, which will be procured in a P600 million to P700 million deal, will be donated to the Department of Health, Concepcion added.
Half the donations will be set aside for government frontliners while the other half will be dedicated for both regular and contractual private sector employees.
Among the companies who donated are: International Container Terminal Services, Inc., BDO Unibank, First Philippine Holdings Corp, Go Negosyo, LT Group, Inc., San Miguel Corp, Metro Pacific Investments Corp, Universal Leaf Philippines Inc, LBC Express Holdings Inc, Udenna Corp, GT Capital Holdings Inc., Wilcon Depot Inc., Ayala Healthcare Holdings Inc., Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Golden ABC Inc, Mercury Drug Corp, Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Yazaki-Torres Manufacturing Inc., Bounty Fresh Food Inc., RFM, Concepcion Industries, Jollibee Foods Corp, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce Phils. Inc., Philippine Transmarine Carriers, Inc., Magsaysay Maritime Corporation, Nova Group, Alliance Global, Inc., JG Summit Holdings, Inc., Philippine Franchise Assc., Double Dragon/MerryMart, Filinvest Development Corp, Lotis Shoppe, Century Properties Group, Bench, CDO, Mercedes Benz, Rustans, Megaworld, and Seaoil Philippines.
Concepcion earlier said companies were committed to donate 1.5 million doses of the vaccine by the second quarter of 2021.
Early data analysis from fate-stage clinical trials of AstraZeneca's vaccine showed that the vaccine was either 62 percent or 90 percent effective - based on the given doses, the pharmaceutical company announced.
This comes after Pfizer and Moderna released clinical trial results showing their vaccines were around 95 percent effective.
The Philippine government is currently negotiating with 4 COVID-19 vaccine makers, which includes AstraZeneca. In a statement, Concepcion said he is "working closely" with vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, who is facilitating the government's discussions with the pharmaceutical companies.
“Sec. Galvez called on the private sector to take care of its own flock provided that we follow the priority sectors of frontliners and the poorest of the poor,” Concepcion said.
Go Negosyo is also set to donate 70,000 vaccine doses for around 35,000 people in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.