The Philippines has signed the supply agreement for 40 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, securing its biggest vaccine procurement for this year, the country's vaccination czar said on Sunday.
Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. said he and Health Sec. Francisco Duque III signed the supply agreement for 40 million Pfizer vaccine doses on Saturday, with deliveries set to begin "after eight weeks starting August."
The procurement of the Pfizer Vaccines would be financed through a multilateral arrangement with the Asian Development Bank, which follows a direct disbursement scheme wherein payments are sent directly to the vaccine manufacturer, Galvez said.
Pfizer earlier said a completed study of their experimental COVID-19 vaccine showed it was 95% effective.
The 40 million Pfizer vaccine doses can inoculate 20 million people, just four million shy of the entire population of the NCR Plus bubble.
With the signing of this supply agreement, Galvez said the Philippines has now secured 113 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from five manufacturers, namely Sinovac (26 million), Sputnik V (10 million), Moderna (20 million), AstraZeneca (17 million), and Pfizer (40 million).
The COVAX facility also committed to deliver a total of 44 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the country, bringing the total number of doses secured by the Philippines to 157 million, he added.
“The vaccines from Pfizer will significantly boost our national immunization program and will enable us to realize our goal of achieving herd immunity by yearend. This is another positive development that will give a happy and better Christmas for all Filipinos,” Galvez said.
Galvez said over 8 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have so far been administered, of which 5.9 million were first doses and 2 million were second doses.
Some 50 million Filipinos should be vaccinated against COVID-19 by November this year, authorities said for the government to achieve its target of "population protection."