MANILA - About 40 million doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine candidate are expected to be delivered to the Philippines by the third quarter of 2021, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Monday.
"'Yung na-negotiate natin na Pfizer vaccine, baka sa third quarter [pa dumating]," Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an online press conference.
(The ones we negotiated with Pfizer might arrive in the third quarter.)
Vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. earlier said the national government is set to sign a deal that will secure 40 million doses of COVID-19 jabs from the US pharmaceutical giant.
Aside from the 40 million, the Philippines is expecting to receive 2.2 million doses of the same brand from the COVAX facility in the coming months, she said.
Earlier this month, the DOH said local government should not disclose the brand of jabs available in inoculation sites after hundreds of Filipinos trooped to a hospital in Manila upon learning that Pfizer vaccines are available there.
"The main objective talaga ng (really of the) vaccine deployment is for us to reduce the number of infections, the number of hospitalization and reduce deaths," Vergeire said.
Aside from Pfizer's, the Philippines is currently using COVID-19 jabs developed by AstraZeneca, Sinovac and Gamaleya Institute. Millions of doses from Moderna are expected to arrive next month.
The vaccine from Pfizer, which uses mRNA as its technology platform, is the first to be granted emergency use authorization in the Philippines, getting the Food and Drug Administration's approval on Jan. 14. It has to be administered in two doses, 21 days apart.
The product has a 95 percent efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19.