Philippines, Novavax to sign deal for 30 million COVID-19 shots mid-week: Palace

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 09 2021 12:38 PM | Updated as of Mar 09 2021 06:17 PM

A woman holds a small bottle labeled with a "Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine" sticker and a medical syringe in front of displayed Novavax logo in this illustration taken, Oct. 30, 2020. Dado Ruvic, Reuters/File

MANILA — The Philippines and US-based coronavirus vaccine maker Novavax will ink a supply deal mid-week, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

The agreement, due to be signed on Wednesday, will cover 30 million Novavax COVID-19 shots, said Palace spokesman Harry Roque. 

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr earlier said he would fly to India to sign the agreement. 

"Kaya nga pupunta tayo sa India, so that we can really negotiate na magkaroon tayo nang early delivery for humanitarian reasons," added Galvez, who is also chief implementer of the National Task Force against COVID-19. 

(We will go to India so that we can really negotiate to get an early delivery for humanitarian reasons.)
 
Officials earlier said the Philippines would get 30 million doses of the Novavax vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) by July 2021. 

Video courtesy of PTV

96 PERCENT EFFECTIVE

Novavax Inc's chief executive said on Monday its COVID-19 vaccine could be cleared for use in the United States as soon as May if US regulators authorize it based on data from the company's British trial, which could be completed as soon as April.

Novavax can already manufacture its shots at scale and will be able to have tens of millions of doses stockpiled and ready to ship in the United States when it receives authorization, Chief Executive Stanley Erck said.

"It will be substantial - in the many tens of millions or a hundred million," Erck said in an interview.

An early data readout in January from its UK trial showed the vaccine to be around 96 percent effective against the original version of the coronavirus and around 86 percent effective against the now widely circulating variant first discovered in Britain.

Novavax completed enrollment of its 30,000-subject US-based trial in February. 

The Philippines has received 600,000 COVID-19 shots from Beijing-based Sinovac Biotech through a donation by China, and 525,600 doses from Britain's AstraZeneca through vaccine-sharing COVAX Facility. 

Authorities have also signed a purchase order for 1 million Sinovac doses, and a supply agreement for 13 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, said Roque, 

A supply deal with Johnson & Johnson is "in progress," he said. 

— With a report from Reuters