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Manufacturing issues delaying delivery of AstraZeneca vaccines —Galvez

The delivery of coronavirus vaccines from British-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca is being delayed by manufacturing complications, vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said Thursday.

Galvez said the doses from AstraZeneca Philippines will be manufactured in Thailand, while those from the World Health Organization-led COVAX Facility will be made in South Korea.

“They are working on different manufacturing systems and at the same time ‘yung COVAX iba iba ‘yung mga manufacturing sources… Mahirap ‘yung arrangement,” he said during a Palace briefing.

The government is also hoping that the Philippines will be allowed to source some of its AstraZeneca doses from the Serum Institute of India (SII).

“Ito ‘yung pinakamalaki. Ito ‘yung nine-negotiate natin na magkaroon tayo ng early procurement,” Galvez said.

“Ang ready, puwede sumuporta sa atin, is itong SII which is hindi niya (AstraZeneca) ina-allow na ‘yun ang mag-[supply]... ‘Yung SII, ibang area po ang kanyang susuportahan,” he added.

The Philippines will receive over 9.4 million doses from the COVAX Facility, an initiative to ensure equitable access to vaccines, in the first half of the year. 

Around 5.5 million to 9.2 million of those doses will come from AstraZeneca, while 117,000 will come from Pfizer-BioNTech.

The delivery of the first batch of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines was also delayed due to concerns on indemnification

“Sa AstraZeneca meron na po tayong tripartite agreement, kasama po sa tripartite agreement ‘yung ating indemnification agreement so no problem po tayo,” Galvez said. — RSJ, GMA News