PH eyes fill and finish of COVID-19 vaccines by 2022

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 21) — The government plans to offer fill-and-finish service, the last step in the manufacturing process, to COVID-19 vaccine producers by next year.

Food and Drug Administration Director General Eric Domingo bared the plan during President Rodrigo Duterte’s public address aired Monday night as the President was asking for updates on the possible local production of COVID-19 vaccine.

“Ang plano po natin by next year, magkaroon po tayo at least nung tinatawag po nating ‘fill and finish’, meaning dadalhin po sa Pilipinas ‘yung bulk product, tapos dito na po natin ire-repackage doon po sa maliliit na vials, ampoules or mga syringes,” Domingo told the President.

[Translation: Our plan for next year is to have at least what we call ‘fill and finish’, which means the bulk product will be delivered to the Philippines, where it will be repackaged in small vials, ampoules, or syringes.]

“The year after that, ‘yun na po ‘yung manufacturing ng mas maraming ibang klaseng bakuna po dito,” he added.

[Translation: The year after that, we aim to manufacture different kinds of vaccine here.]

The Department of Science and Technology, the Department of Trade and Industry, and the Department of Health are spearheading efforts to ensure the country’s self-sustainability when it comes to vaccines, Domingo said.

He added the agencies are also in talks with manufacturers abroad for the transfer of COVID-19 vaccine technology to the Philippines.

To date, the government has administered 41.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Around 18.5 million out of 110 million Filipinos are fully vaccinated.