Philippines may get first Pfizer COVID-19 shots in late April or early May: official

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 22 2021 04:07 PM

Philippines may get first Pfizer COVID-19 shots in late April or early May: official 1
A nurse holds a vial of the Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine in Telde on the island of Gran Canaria, Spain March 31, 2021. Borja Suarez, Reuters/File 

MANILA — The Philippines may get its first delivery of COVID-19 shots from US biotech US-based Pfizer/BioNTech in late April or early May, an official leading the vaccination strategy said on Thursday. 

Vaccine-sharing COVAX Facility will "hopefully" deliver 195,000 Pfizer jabs to the Philippines by the "end of this month," said vaccine "czar" Carlito Galvez Jr. 

However, he said Pfizer and the Philippines are still finalizing their indemnity deal, which would state who should shoulder compensation in case of adverse vaccine effects. 

After the agreement is signed, it would take "some time" before the vaccine delivery, said Galvez. 

"Siguro mauudlot ito ng first week of May," he said. 

(Perhaps the delivery will be delayed until the first week of May.)

The COVAX Facility committed 2.4 million Pfizer doses to the Philippines. The country is "negotiating bilaterally" for 40 million Pfizer jabs on top of this, said Galvez. 

Authorities have received 3.025 million COVID-19 shots, mostly from Beijing-based Sinovac Biotech.

The government is set to receive 500,000 more Sinovac jabs on Thursday and its first 15,000 COVID-19 shots from Russia's Gamaleya Institute on Sunday, Galvez said. 

He said the Philippines would get additional 500,000 Sinovac shots and 480,000 Gamaleya doses on April 29, says Galvez.

The Philippines has administered about 1.6 million vaccine shots, said Galvez. 

Among the worst hit by the pandemic in Asia, the Philippines aims to vaccinate 70 million people or about two-thirds of its population this year. 

Video courtesy of PTV