MANILA (UPDATED)- The Philippines may acquire 60 million more COVID-19 vaccine shots in the second and third quarters of 2021, vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez said Monday.
Galvez, in a public briefing, echoed Foreign Affairs Sec. Teodoro Locsin Jr.'s earlier statement that the India-based manufacturer of Novavax vaccines assured it will deliver 30 million doses to the Philippines, with no cash advance required.
He said he will meet with Novavax officials on Dec. 23 for further negotiations.
Galvez also said the government will order 20 more million doses of the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca. The Philippines has only signed one supply deal so far, which was 2.6 million shots from the British drugmaker with the help of private sector.
"Baka this coming next week, either Dec. 28 or 29, inaantay lang namin 'yung Ministry of Health na regulatory authorization ng UK at pwede na po naming pirmahan 'yung kontrata," he said.
"Kung magkakaroon po tayo ng pirmahan, meron po tayong 60 million for second quarter and third quarter," he added.
President Rodrigo Duterte meanwhile said the Philippines won't be able to acquire shots from Pfizer Inc. anytime soon, after officials and the public blasted the government's supposed failure to gain access to the drugmaker's vaccine, known to have one of the highest efficacy rates.
Several officials had said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, one of Duterte's closest allies, "dropped the ball" in the country's immediate procurement of the Pfizer vaccine, which is now already in use in the United Kingdom and the United States.
"'Yung mga mayaman, na doon pa ginagawa sa kanila ang vaccine, kagaya ng Pfizer, uunahan talaga ang Amerika. There's no such available vaccine sa Pfizer ngayon. Walang sila maibigay eh ginagamit nga sa Amerika eh," Duterte claimed.
"Let us be clear on this. There is, as yet, no Pfizer vaccine available for the Philippines. And for a long time. Wala pa, binabakunahan ang mga Amerikano lahat, agawan sila ngayon," he added.
The President told the public to only listen to him and ignore the critics, after netizens expressed their outrage against government's supposed failure to acquire vaccines from Pfizer.
"Walang ginawa 'yan kun'di mag-intriga. Makinig lang kayo sa'kin," he said.
But Locsin earlier said 10 million doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, which were supposedly financed by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, were set to be shipped to Clark, Pampanga in January.
Singapore also received its first batch of Pfizer's vaccine on Monday, according to its flag carrier, ahead of a rollout in the city-state that health officials have said could be as soon as two-three weeks away.