PH orders 50 million Moderna booster shots for 2022, says envoy to US

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 22) -  The Philippines has ordered 50 million doses of Moderna vaccine booster for next year, Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez said on Tuesday.

"Ang magandang balita, kasama rin tayo doon sa mga booster shots na dine-develop ngayon (The good news is, we have ordered booster shots that are now being developed)," he said in a Malacañang briefing.

"Moderna definitely has already informed us. Nag-reserve na tayo ng mga (We have already reserved around) 50 million doses, that's for next year," he added.

In May, Romualdez told CNN Philippines that booster shots from Moderna may be combined with other brands initially administered to Filipinos.

Scientists are still researching how long vaccines can provide immunity against the coronavirus, factoring in new variants which could be more transmissible.

Medical experts say fully vaccinated individuals might need a booster dose within a year to stay protected against COVID-19.

In April, the Department of Health said it will wait for additional evidence on the need for an extra dose.

The Philippines has signed a tripartite agreement with Modera for 20 million doses of its vaccine. The government ordered 13 million, while the private sector procured seven million.

The country will receive on June 27 the first tranche, which is a shipment of 250,000 doses. It was initially scheduled to arrive on June 21 but was pushed back due to logistical issues.