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Galvez: No definite date yet for arrival of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines

There is no definite date yet for the arrival of 3.5 million doses of AstraZeneca's vaccine against COVID-19 from COVAX facility, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez said Monday.

At a press briefing following the official launching of the government's vaccination drive at the Philippine General Hospital, Galvez cited global supply shortage of the vaccine as the reason for the delay.

"Wala pa pong definite date. Nakikita natin ang reality on the grounds, acute po ang global shortage of supply," Galvez said.

Some 525,600 doses of AstraZeneca's vaccine from the World Health Organization (WHO)-led COVAX facility were supposed to be delivered on March 1.

"We understand the challenge COVAX is facing because they are supplying the global community. Ang pagkakasabi nila, indefinite [ang date of arrival] pero hopefully first quarter,” Galvez said.

COVAX is a global initiative where wealthier countries pitch in funding to aid developing countries in their COVID-19 response, including access to COVID-19 vaccines.

Based on a Philippine Food and Drug Administration's evaluation, AstraZeneca has an efficacy rate of 70% after the first dose, a rate that will increase after the second dose is given after four to 12 weeks.

AstraZeneca was granted emergency use authorization (EUA) by the FDA last January 28. —KBK, GMA News