The Philippines could receive its initial supply of COVID-19 vaccines in February, the Department of Health said Monday, fueling hopes that the country could start its mass immunization program earlier than scheduled.
At least two brands of COVID-19 vaccines could be delivered to the Philippines by next month, Health Usec. Rosario Vergeire said. She however refused to name the brands of the vaccines.
"May portfolio pa ho tayo ng iba't-ibang bakuna and as early as February, we might be receiving the deliveries of these vaccines," she said in an interview on Teleradyo.
"Mayroon 'hong dalawang klase ng bakuna that can be available by February already."
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Vergeire made the remark a day after the national government signed its second vaccine deal with US drug maker Novovax for the purchase of 30 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine called Covovax.
Late last year, the Philippines signed a deal with British pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca for 2.6 million doses of its vaccine developed with Oxford University.
The Philippines is eyeing to start its mass immunization program by late March, global supply permitting. It hopes to secure 148 million doses this year from seven companies -- enough for around 70 percent of its population.