'Vast majority' of Philippines' COVID-19 vaccines were donated: official

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 14 2021 06:04 PM

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Donated jabs make up the "vast majority" of the Philippines' around 12.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, an official said on Monday. 

The vaccines that the Philippines has purchased were only some of those from Beijing-based Sinovac Biotech and Russia's Gamaleya Institute, said Vince Dizon, deputy chief implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID-19. 

"Ang vast majority po nitong 12.6 million doses, I do not want to give specific numbers lang... have been either donated by COVAX primarily and by our bilateral partners such as China," he said in a press briefing.

(The vast majority of these 12.6 million doses, I just do not want to give specific numbers, have been either donated by COVAX primarily and by our bilateral partners such as China.) 

Based on the monitoring of ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group, of the supply received by the country, the following were either donated or from COVAX:

- 1 million doses from Sinovac, donated by the Chinese government
- over 2.47 million doses from Pfizer, courtesy of COVAX
- over 2.5 millions doses from AstraZeneca, courtesy of COVAX

In January, officials said the Philippine government will pay for 25 percent of its vaccine allocations from the COVAX Facility, instead of availing all for free.

Meanwhile, the procured supplies already in the country are the following:

- 6.5 million doses from Sinovac
- 180,000 doses from Gamaleya Institute

Most of the vaccines that the Philippines purchased--including those from Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Jonhson & Johnson, and other brands--have yet to arrive, Dizon said. 

"Meron talagang malaking problema sa global supply ng mga bakuna dahil marami sa mga bakunang ito ay nandoon sa mga mayayamang bansa," he said. 

"Kaya tayo ngayon ay talagang humihingi ng tulong sa ating mga multilateral partners such as COVAX and our bilateral partners such as China." 

(There really is a big problem in the global supply of vaccines because many of these are in the rich countries. This is why we are asking help from our multilateral partners such as COVAX and our bilateral partners such as China.) 

Authorities on Tuesday will face the Senate committee of the whole and present a breakdown of the budget for the country's COVID-19 response, he said. 

"Definitely po, sinusuportahan po natin ‘yang calls for transparency, and we will be very transparent," Dizon added. 

(Definitely, we support calls for transparency.) 

Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon on Monday asked vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. and Health Secretary Francisco Duque III to submit to the Senate Committee of the Whole the supply agreements the Philippines has signed with vaccine manufacturers.

The panel will look into the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program and its utilization of the P82.5 billion budget for the procurement of vaccines, Drilon said in a statement.