The crisis in Europe following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has not yet affected the country’s vaccine supply, most of which are sourced from Western countries, but shipping costs are likely to increase, the Department of Health (DOH) said Saturday.
“[A]s of now, we do not see any problem in terms of the other vaccines except that costs may balloon because of its impact on transportation, etc. But I’m sure we will be able to manage because we’ve already secured the contract agreements,” said Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje in partly in Filipino in a Laging Handa briefing when asked to comment on how the Ukraine-Russia war would affect the delivery of vaccines.
On February 24, oil prices jumped above USD100 a barrel after Russia launched a military assault against Ukraine, an act described by the latter as a “war of aggression”.
At present, Cabotaje said deliveries are still on track but there are some delays in the shipment of vaccines for five to 11 years old.
“There are some hitches but we’ve already settled it in terms of payment. So instead of 1.6 million jabs for February 23, it will arrive here in March,” she said in Filipino.
“We hope that the shipment of vaccines for five to 11 will normalize but for Pfizer for adults, that’s on track,” she added in Filipino.
Meanwhile, she noted that the country has no plans to buy more Sputnik V vaccines as supplies for these Russian-made jabs are “enough”.