The Philippines government closed its very first deal for a vaccine for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) with the Serum Institute of India (SII) for 30 million doses.
Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., the Chief Implementer of the Philippines’ Declared National Policy Against Covid-19, signed the term sheet with SII behalf of the government. SII’s Covovax will be available in the Philippines starting from the third quarter of 2021.
“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 Dr. Luningning Villa, medical director of Faberco Life Sciences Inc., SII’s Philippine partner.
SII is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer that partnered with US-based Novavax to develop and commercialize the latter’s Covovax vaccine, which is in its third-stage trials.
This development coincides with the announcement of Health Secretary Francisco Duque 3rd on Sunday that the government is closing agreements with various producers of Covid-19 vaccines.
“We’re in the final stages of closing agreement with various manufacturers to vaccinate at least 60 to 70 percent of the population. Sec. Charlie (Galvez) and I will share details tomorrow. Kudos to our tireless inter-agency working round the clock on PRRD’s (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte) guidance on vaccines: Safe, steady, sure and secure,” Duque said over Twitter.
Although the government concluded a deal with UK-based AstraZeneca for the supply of 2.6 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine, this was done through a tripartite agreement with the private sector that funded the purchase.
Besides SII and AstraZeneca, the government is also considering deals with Pfizer, Janssen Vaccines & Prevention BV, Clover Biopharmaceuticals Australi Pty Ltd., Gamaleya Institute of Russia, and Sinopharm of China. SOVEREIGNPH