PH expects at least 5.6M COVID-19 vaccine doses from Pfizer, AstraZeneca in Q1

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 31) — At least 5.6 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from US drugmaker Pfizer and the United Kingdom's AstraZeneca are slated to reach the Philippines within the first quarter of 2021, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said Sunday.

According to Galvez, Aurélia Nguyen, managing director of the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility, informed the Philippine government that WHO secured 9.407 million vaccine doses against the COVID-19 from the two pharmaceutical firms.

In time for the government's mass immunization campaign, initial vaccine shipments are expected in February, according to Galvez, who is also the chief impementer of the country's National Task Force against COVID-19.

A total of 117,000 doses produced by Pfizer-BioNTech will be delivered through the COVAX facility in mid-February, Galvez said.

He noted that the Philippines' vaccination drive will also be boosted with 5,500,800 to 9,290,400 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines.

"As the company awaits the issuance of its EUL (Emergency Use Authorizations), the “indicative” numbers of doses reflect only the supply for the first two quarters of 2021. The initial delivery is scheduled by mid to late February as stated in the letter," Galvez said.

The Food and Drug Administration has earlier cleared both Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca coronavirus shots for emergency use in the country.

Galvez said his team will continue monitoring the preparations of local government units for their respective vaccination plans.

For this year, the government is targeting to purchase 148 million doses of COVID-19 to inoculate around 50 million Filipinos.