Philippines might get first Pfizer COVID-19 shots in May, Moderna shots in June: envoy

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 20 2021 03:57 PM | Updated as of Apr 20 2021 09:49 PM

Philippines might get first Pfizer COVID-19 shots in May, Moderna shots in June: envoy 1
A healthcare worker receives a dose of a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Messe Wien Congress Center, which has been set up as a coronavirus disease vaccination centre, in Vienna, Austria Feb. 7, 2021. Lisi Niesner, Reuters/File

MANILA — The Philippines might get its first COVID-19 shots from US-based Pfizer/BioNTech in May and American pharmaceutical firm Moderna in June, an envoy said on Monday. 

Moderna eyes delivering "close to 200,000" shots of its vaccine to the Philippines in June 15, said Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez. 

"It will start increasing in succeeding months... They will complete the 20 million before the end of the year," he said in a press briefing.

Meanwhile, 117,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine "will most likely be coming in next month (May)," Romualdez said. 

The lack of an indemnity deal, which settles who will shoulder the cost of adverse effects from the vaccine, delayed the arrival of the first Pfizer batch initially expected in mid-February. 

Authorities expect to settle the deal "hopefully next month," said Romualdez. 

"Those are the 2 leading vaccines coming from the United STates that should be coming in to the Philippines... perhaps the end of May for Pfizer, and June for Moderna and the rest," he said. 

"Alam ko nahihirapan tayo ngayon d'yan, pero I'm very confident na by the end of this year, a large majority of our people will be able to get the vaccines." 

(I know that we have difficulty there, but I'm very confident that by by the end of this year, a large majority of our people will be able to get the vaccines.)

The Philippines aim to vaccinate up to 70 million people or about two-thirds of its population this year. 

The government has so far received about 3.025 million COVID-19 shots. 

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