The Philippines signed Thursday an agreement to procure 20 million doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines as the country battles a renewed surge of infections threatening its economic recovery.
Tycoon Enrique Razon led efforts for the tripartite deal with the Philippine government and American biotech firm Moderna. Seven million doses of the vaccine order will be allotted to frontline workers of the private sector while 13 million will be used by the government.
“This is part of our goal to vaccinate 70 million of our adult population and recover the economy from the pandemic,” COVID-19 vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. said.
Galvez said Razon “has formally committed to manage and fund the entire international logistics effort for the Moderna order."
MORE ON VACCINES:
The Philippines started its COVID-19 vaccination program only this month using donated jabs from China's Sinovac, and AstraZeneca courtesy of the COVAX global facility. The available vaccines so far are only enough to cover health workers.
Should vaccine manufacturers meet the Philippines' expected delivery timelines, Galvez said the country could roll out vaccines to the general public by late April or early May.
As of March 17, Galvez said 269,583 of the 1.8 million health workers nationwide have been inoculated.
Other vaccines that could soon be available to the Philippines are those from Pfizer, Novavax, Sputnik V, and Johnson & Johnson.