PASIG CITY (15 September 2021) — The bulk of COVID-19 vaccine deliveries this September will come from US manufacturers Pfizer and Moderna, as more than 14.89 million doses are expected to arrive in the country in the coming weeks.

This was announced by National Task Force against COVID 19 Chief Implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito G. Galvez Jr following the reallocation notice from the COVAX facility, as well as the latest update from Moderna on the deliveries of government and private sector-procured vaccines.

“We are very pleased with this good news, especially that many of our local government units, particularly those in the provinces, have started to scale up their vaccine rollout and expand their coverage to include the A4 and A5 priority groups,” said Galvez.

“These will boost our inoculation program, as we firm up the guidelines on the vaccination of the general public and prepare for the rollout for teenagers or those 12 to 17 years old as we wait for the approval of the members of our vaccine expert panel,” he added.

The COVAX facility has updated its Pfizer-BioNTech allocation for the Philippines for the third quarter of 2021 (July to September), in which deliveries to the country will increase from 188,370 doses to 10,188,360 doses.

COVAX re-allocation

According to the letter sent to task force officials, the additional doses were due to the standard reallocation process of the facility.

Last September 2, COVAX delivered 188,370 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech to the country. The rest of the committed supplies will be delivered in two tranches, comprising 4,354,740 doses and 5,645,250 doses, respectively.

Meanwhile, Galvez said Moderna has started to make arrangements for the shipment of the procured 4,712,770 doses to the Philippines.

The initial shipment containing 1,250,000 doses is scheduled to arrive this week, while another 961,000 doses will be delivered on September 16.

Two batches of Moderna vaccines are due to arrive on September 19. The first shipment will contain 1,270,720 doses, while the second shipment will have 1,231,050 doses.

The Philippines has secured a total of 20 million doses from Moderna, of which thirteen million doses were procured by the national government, while seven million doses were purchased by the private sector.

As of September 15, a total of 1.29 million doses were delivered to the country.

“We thank the relentless effort exerted by our Philippine Embassy in Washington led by Ambassador Babes [Romualdez] to ensure that Moderna will increase its allocation for the country this month,” Galvez said.

The vaccine czar said that based on the supply agreement with Moderna, the bulk of the vaccine orders will be delivered in the fourth quarter of this year.

He bared that Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez held negotiations through the White House in order to further increase the monthly allocation of all US-made vaccines procured by the Philippines.

Aside from Moderna, the government also procured a total of 40 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech. The company is set to ship out more than five million doses this month.

So far, Pfizer has delivered 3.18 million doses of the country’s procured orders. Bigger volumes of the secured doses will be delivered beginning October.

LGUs must be ready

Galvez said that with the arrival of more highly-sensitive vaccines, LGUs across the country must ensure that they are prepared to accept their respective allocations.

He noted that the current vaccine deployment strategy is now focused on provinces and regions with a high number of cases.

This strategy would allow the national government to close the gap between the fully vaccinated individuals in Metro Manila and other regions.

As of September 14, there are now 17,348,671 fully vaccinated individuals in the country. Of this number, more than six million individuals are from the National Capital Region (NCR).

The NCR has already completed the inoculation of 62.30% of its target population, while the rest of the country is still below 25%.

“The LGUs must be ready for these types of vaccines. And we don’t necessarily mean they need to procure ultra-low freezers as there are many supply chain managements companies that offer these services. What is important is that they will have well-trained personnel that are capable in handling as well as administering the vaccines,” said Galvez.

“Ang bakuna ay ginto at sa ngayon, kulang na kulang pa rin ang ating supply. Kung kayat napakahalaga ng preparasyon upang maiwasan ang pagkasayang ng mga ito,” he added.

Out of the 187.6 million doses secured by the Philippines from different manufacturers and sources for 2021, 56,794,130 doses have been delivered.

The vaccine czar said the NTF continues to negotiate with manufacturers to increase the country’s monthly deliveries to 25 to 30 million doses.

For the month of September, the Philippines is expecting to receive more than 34 million COVID-19 vaccine doses.

These are composed of 12 million doses of Sinovac, 10 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech from COVAX facility, five million doses of government-procured Pfizer, four million doses of government and private sector-procured Moderna, one million doses of Sputnik Light, one million doses of private sector and LGU-procured Astrazeneca, and one million doses donated by a partner country. END