193k Pfizer vaccine doses expected to arrive on Monday – DOH

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 8)— The Philippines is expecting the arrival of some 193,000 doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine from the COVAX facility on Monday.

This was confirmed by Health Secretary Francisco Duque in a press briefing on Saturday.

Duque said the incoming Pfizer vaccines will likely be distributed in Metro Manila and other "major cities" which can handle the product's storage requirements of -70 to 80°C.

"The Pfizer vaccines will be distributed maybe in the NCR, in Metro Cebu, in Metro Davao City, and the other major cities that can handle the required temperature," Duque noted.

Since the shipment will be another donation from the COVAX, Duque stressed the government will likewise be following the priority framework for vaccine recipients — with individuals under the A1-A3 priority group seen to get the first jabs.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. earlier said a total of 1.3 million doses of the vaccines developed by the American firm may arrive in the country this month. He previously said the initial shipment of 193,000 doses was scheduled to be delivered on Tuesday, May 11.

The Philippines was initially supposed to receive a first batch of 117,000 Pfizer doses through COVAX in February, but the delivery was hampered due to the absence of an indemnification deal between the parties.

COVAX — a global initiative led by the World Health Organization, vaccine alliance Gavi, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations that seeks member countries' equitable access to vaccines — earlier in the day also sent the country over two million additional doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. This was the third shipment the global facility delivered to the Philippines.

The country needs to inoculate at least 70 million Filipinos to achieve herd immunity. Latest government data showed over 2 million were already administered since the start of the coronavirus vaccine rollout in March.