The National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said that because of the global constrictions on acquiring the coronavirus vaccines, there may be a reduction of supplies from the COVAX Facility.
Though Galvez assured that the government is working with all efforts to acquire the number of vaccines the country needed.
"Considering also with the global constriction of AstraZeneca, most probably ay talaga pong magkakaroon ng (we are expecting a ) reduction," Galvez said on the Palace press briefing.
"We are just working for the access. We will pay all those vaccines," he added.
The UNICEF (United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund) announced to all the countries expecting to receive the AstraZeneca vaccines this March, will now be moved to next month, April.
"Deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII) to lower-income economies participating in the COVAX Facility will face delays during March and April as the Government of India battles a new wave of infections. COVA and the Government of India remain in discussion to ensure some supplies are completed during March and April," UNICEF report last March 25 said.
Contracted under the Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the SII is tasked with providing COVAX SII-licensed and manufactured AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccines to 64 lower-income economies alongside its responsibilities to the Government of India.
However, the said government currently has high demands for vaccines thus resulting in the delay of deliveries.
On the other hand, the ongoing deployment of newly arrived doses of Chinese-made CoronoVac with about one million doses is underway.
Galvez said that about 1.5 million doses will arrive in the coming weeks, as well as an additional 500,000 doses of Sputnik V from Russia's Gamaleya Research Institute.
This May, the country is expected 2 million doses of Sputnik V, 2 million doses of CoronaVac, and 194,000 doses of Moderna vaccine to arrive. For June, an estimated 10.5 million doses will arrive, composing 4.5 million doses of CoronaVac, 4 million doses of Sputnik V, and 1 million more doses of AstraZeneca and Novavax.
"But we expect also by month of July magkakaroon ng (there will be) easing out of the global supply considering that nangako naman po sila na kapag natapos na sila (they promised once they completed their vaccination) they will share some of their excess to their allied countries," Galvez said.
Currently, the Philippines was able to vaccinate 825,662 citizens, where 781,415 are healthcare workers, and 28,401 already have their second doses.
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Source: Philippine News Agency (PNA)