LGUs, private sector could receive 8M Covaxin doses by end-May – envoy

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 27) — The Philippines could receive its first shipment of India-made COVID-19 vaccines by May, an envoy said on Tuesday.

Philippine Ambassador to India Ramon Bagatsing Jr. said the eight million doses of Covaxin vaccines made by Bharat Biotech could arrive in the country by the last week of May.

"They informed me that the delivery will hopefully be by last week of May. Committed na iyan [That's already committed]," he said during the Laging Handa media briefing.

The deal was inked by the private sector and local government units in the Philippines and Bharat Biotech.

The envoy said there is enough supply despite the ongoing second wave of cases in India. He said vaccine manufacturers have been ramping up their production amid the coronavirus outbreak.

"It is affordable, adequate, and available so I hope we get through all the regulatory approvals so it can be rolled out, shipped, and it can be there by the end of the month," he added.

The Covaxin, which has reported an efficacy rate of 81%, has already received an emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration.

Aside from Covaxin, Bagatsing said the 30 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from Covavax from Serum Institute of India — purchased by the national government — could arrive in the country by September.