American biotech firm Moderna said Sunday it agreed to supply the Philippine government 13 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, with deliveries expected to start in mid-2021.
Moderna said it was negotiating with private companies in the Philippines for an additional supply of seven million doses. It's vaccine has up to 95% efficacy based on clinical trials.
It said it was also working on an emergency use authorization for the vaccine, a requirement before the rollout this year. So far, the Philippines FDA has certified jabs from Sinovac, AstraZeneca and Pfizer as fit for emergency use. Sinopharm, has also applied for an EUA.
"We remain committed to making our vaccine available on every continent to help end this global pandemic," said Stephane Bancel, CEO of Boston-based Moderna.
The Philippines began vaccinating frontliners last week with roughly one million vaccines from Sinovac and AstraZeneca. A surge in infections in Metro Manila is in the "early stages," according to OCTA Research as it urged authorities to intensify implementation of COVID-19 protocols.
President Rodrigo Duterte had urged Filipinos to get vaccinated as soon as possible, vouching for the sfaety and efficacy of the jabs.