MANILA — The delivery of the country's first bivalent COVID-19 vaccines will be delayed again, the Department of Health said Tuesday.
DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire previously said the country would receive some 390,000 doses of the adapted version of the original vaccine this week.
"As per the DOH - Bureau of International Health Cooperation (BIHC), there shall be a slight delay in the arrival of the bivalent vaccines as there are permits that are still needed to be coordinated," the DOH said in a statement.
"Rest assured that the Department of Health is exhausting all efforts to receive the vaccines by the end of the month."
Bivalent vaccines are modified jabs that target both the original and omicron strains of the virus.
A department memorandum regarding the administration of the omicron-specific vaccines has been signed, the DOH noted.
"With regard to the preparation and implementation of the roll-out of the bivalent vaccine, the Department Memorandum has already been signed and only awaiting for its release," it added.
The delivery of the bivalent vaccines was first put on hold in March while the DOH explored other legal remedies.
This, after the country's state of calamity for COVID-19, which had clauses on indemnification and immunity from liability, expired on December 31.
In the past week, the Philippines recorded 12,426 COVID-19 cases or an average of 1,775 daily infections.
During the past week, the DOH also verified 13 more COVID-related fatalities
As of May 22, the country had 16,053 active COVID-19 cases.