Philippines eyes COVID-19 vaccine 'fill and finish' facility by 2022

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 21 2021 08:34 AM | Updated as of Sep 21 2021 09:20 AM

Video courtesy of PTV

The Philippines has set its sights on setting up a "fill and finish" facility for COVID-19 vaccines by next year, the Food and Drug Administration said on Monday. 

"Ang plano po natin by next year, magkaroon po tayo at least ‘yung tinatawag po nating fill and finish. Meaning, dadalhin po sa Pilipinas ‘yong bulk product tapos dito na po natin ire-repackage doon po sa maliliit na vials, ampoules or mga syringes," FDA director general Eric Domingo said in a taped meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte. 

(Our plan is by next year, we will have at least a so-called fill and finish facility. Meaning, the bulk product will be brought to the Philippines, then we will repackage it into small vials, ampoules or syringes.)

"Ito po ‘yong nauna nating plano na tina-target po for next year. And then after that po, the year after that, ‘yun na pong manufacturing nang mas maraming ibang klase pong bakuna dito."

(This is what we are planning to target for next year. And then after that, the year after that, we will aim for the manufacturing of various kinds of vaccine here.) 

Authorities are talking to manufacturers in several countries like Cuba, China, and Russia for a possible "technology transfer" for the facility.

The Philippines, which is fighting one of Asia's worst coronavirus outbreaks, has confirmed some 2.3 million coronavirus infections, including about 36,000 deaths overall.

Government aims to vaccinate up to 70 percent of the country's 109 million people before the year ends to achieve herd immunity and safely reopen the economy. 

At least 18.5 million people have been fully inoculated so far.