Which COVID-19 vaccines will go to far-flung Philippine areas?

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 13 2021 03:25 PM | Updated as of Jan 13 2021 03:45 PM

A medical worker prepares a syringe of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a retirement home as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in France, Jan. 12, 2021. Eric Gaillard, Reuters

MANILA — At least 4 vaccine candidates against the novel coronavirus will be deployed to far-flung areas of the country, an official leading the immunization effort said on Wednesday. 

The vaccines of US-based firms Moderna and Pfizer need to stored in temperatures of -20 and -70 degrees Celsius, respectively. They can only be used in areas with cold storage facilities like Metro Manila, Cebu and Davao, said Carlito Galvez Jr, Chief Implementer of the National Task Force COVID-19. 

COVID-19 vaccines that do not require ultra-cold storage include those from Sinovac, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, and Novavax, said Galvez, a former military general who is also the country's inoculation czar. 
"Ito po ang puwede nating i-deploy sa far-flung areas dahil hindi po ito nangangailangan ng minus cold chain," he said in a public briefing. 

(These are what we can deploy to far-flung areas because these do not require minus cold chain.)

The US, United Kingdom and Indonesia employed the same strategy, he said. 

Authorities hope to secure supply deals for 148 million jabs against COVID-19 this January. 

With about 491,000 coronavirus infections, the Philippines has the second highest caseload in Southeast Asia, next to Indonesia.

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