Locsin, Galvez: PH to receive 30M COVID-19 vaccine doses from Novavax

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 22) – Two high-ranking government officials confirmed on Monday the Philippines will receive 30 million doses of Novavax's COVID-19 vaccine.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin Jr. said the delivery of the vaccines, made at the Serum Institute of India, will arrive in the country by July 2021.

"The good thing though, is that remember: This is not a rumor. This is based on a press release made by Serum Institute of India – the giant manufacturer," Locsin told CNN Philippines' Pinky Webb.

COVID-19 National Task Force Chief Implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. also relayed the development to President Rodrigo Duterte, saying Serum did not request anymore for a cash advance in the Philippine government's purchase of Novavax vaccine doses.

Galvez added the Novavax vaccine makers were struck by Duterte's speech during the United Nations General Assembly, where he appealed for equal access of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines to all countries.

"He (representative of Serum Institute of India) will comply with your directive that no cash advance will be placed," Galvez said during the weekly Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases meeting.

Galvez said they will talk with Serum Institute of India representatives on Dec. 23.

He also reported to Duterte they may sign a contract next week with British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, which will supply 20 million doses to the country. Around half of those doses are allocated to local government units and the rest are for the private sector.

The country has so far formally secured 2.6 million doses of AstraZeneca's vaccine due to arrive in the second quarter of 2021, coming from a ₱600-million donation from over 30 private companies.

"If these deals will be signed, we will have around 60 million doses for the second and third quarter of 2021," Galvez said.

Locsin also said the Philippines will start its negotiations for a potential COVID-19 vaccine supply agreement with American biotechnology company Moderna "on or before" Dec. 30. Philippine Ambassador to the United States Babe Romualdez confirmed Moderna's willingness to supply the Philippines with four million to 25 million doses by the third quarter of 2021.