Serum Institute of India (SII) over the weekend announced that the Philippine government—through vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr.—has inked a term sheet to secure some 30 million doses of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine Covovax set to arrive in the country by the third quarter of 2021.
GMA News Online has sought comment from Galvez.
The vaccine is set to be manufactured by SSI, which has partnered with Faberco Life Sciences Inc. as its Philippine partner.
"This is a significant milestone in relations between India and the Philippines. It shows that we don't have to look far beyond Philippine shores to find friends who are willing to help each other out," said Faberco founder Kishore Hemlani inthe statement released by SSI.
The Covovax vaccine is currently in the third-stage trials carried out in the United Kingdom with 15,000 subjects, as well as in the United States and Mexico with 30,000 subjects. It also underwent trials in Australia, South Africa, and India.
"The vaccine will be used to vaccinate 15 million vulnerable and poor Filipinos. The vaccine is stable at 2°C to 8°C, the standard temperature that is within the existing cold chain system in the Philippines, thus allowing its distribution to the remotest barangays," said Faberco Life Sciences Medical Director Dr. Luningning Villa.
The Philippines has already allocated P73.2 billion for the procurement of the vaccines, with P40 billion coming from multilateral agencies, P20 billion from domestic sources, and P13.2 billion from bilateral agreements.
Meanwhile, the private sector has committed to procuring as many as 6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from British pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca, half of which will be donated to the Philippine government. — BM, GMA News