The Philippines is negotiating with U.S. biotech firm Moderna for the purchase of up to 20 million COVID vaccine doses, as it pursues a portfolio strategy to innoculate its 100 million population, the official in charge told lawmakers Monday.
Moderna claims one of the highest efficacy rates, coming in at around 95%, for its COVID-19 vaccine. The government and the private sector will split the order equally, said Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr, the country's vaccine czar.
"We are not favoring anyone, particularly any brand or country. We will have a fair mix of vaccines," Galvez said.
A supply agreement would soon be signed with Johnson & Johnson while negotiations are ongoing with Pfizer, both from the U.S., Galvez told a House hearing. A Philippine Star report quoting sources said ports billionaire Enrique Razon was leading the private sector effort to secure vaccines from Moderna.
The Philippines has ordered 30 million doses from Novovax, at least 17 million from AstraZeneca and 25 million from Sinovac. Negotiations are also underway with Russia's Gamaleya, he said.
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