PH to sign supply agreement for 30 million Novavax doses on March 10

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 9) — The Philippines will finally sign on Wednesday, March 10, a supply agreement with US drugmaker Novavax for its COVID-19 vaccine doses.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in his briefing on Tuesday that the deal covers 30 million Covovax vaccine doses for the country.

"Pipirmahan na rin bukas, ika-10 ng Marso ang supply agreement with Novavax, 30 million po iyan," Roque said.

[Translation: The Philippines will sign tomorrow, March 10, the supply agreement with Novavax, that's 30 million doses.]

Roque added that they cannot yet disclose how much will be spent for the procurement of the vaccines until the deal is signed.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. and other members of the vaccine expert panel are scheduled to fly to India on Tuesday to secure the deal and appeal for the deployment of Covovax doses this second quarter.

Novavax is based in the US but its Covovax vaccines are manufactured at the Serum Institute of India.

Galvez earlier told CNN Philippines' The Source that the government was willing to shell out more funds if it means getting the coronavirus vaccines earlier.

READ: In India trip, Galvez to appeal for early 2nd quarter deployment of Novavax COVID-19 vaccines 

Meanwhile, Roque also bared that the government has already signed the purchase order for 1 million doses from China's Sinovac Biotech, and the supply agreement for 13 million doses from another American drugmaker Moderna Inc. which would add to the Philippines' COVID-19 vaccine supply. Another agreement involving 7 million Moderna doses for the private sector is also underway.

RELATED: Philippines, Moderna reach supply deal for 13 million COVID-19 doses

Meanwhile, the supply agreement for the single-dose vaccine of US-based Johnson & Johnson is already in progress, Roque added.

So far, the country is on its second week of roll-out after receiving 600,000 Sinovac doses and 525,600 doses from British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca.

Citing March 7 data from the Health Department, Roque added that more than 35,000 healthcare workers, the first in the government's priority list, already received their first shot. Meanwhile, more than 460,000 total vials from both manufacturers have been distributed nationwide.