PH hopes to finalize supply deal for Johnson & Johnson vaccine ‘this week or next week’ — Galvez

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 8)— The Philippine government is hoping to finalize by this week or next week the supply agreement to secure COVID-19 vaccines from Johnson & Johnson, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said on Thursday.

“Yes, fina-finalize na lang namin with J&J, and hopefully magkaroon po kami ng signing this week or next week,” Galvez told CNN Philippines’ The Source.

[Translation: Yes, we are just finalizing with J&J, and hopefully we will have a signing this week or next week.]

While Galvez did not disclose details regarding the specific amount of doses being discussed, Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel "Babe" Romualdez earlier said the American manufacturer has committed to supply the country with six million of its single-dose vaccine.

The World Health Organization last week listed for emergency use worldwide Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, which has reported varying efficacy rates.

Global Phase 3 trials showed the vaccine was 66% effective in preventing moderate and severe disease, but 85% effective against severe disease, the company earlier said.

Galvez meanwhile acknowledged there may be a limited supply of Johnson & Johnson vaccines for now, given that it is being widely used in the United States. He again expressed hope that the U.S. and Europe will loosen up their hold on global vaccine supply by the middle of the year.