By Amado Inigo
MANILA — More doses of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by British-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca with the University of Oxford is arriving tomorrow, Sunday, 07 March 2021.
Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez said 38,400 doses of the jab are slated to arrive in the country at around 7 p.m. in the evening via a commercial plane.
The shipment is a part of the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility’s pledge to initially deliver 525,600 doses to the Philippines.
The WHO Covax Facility has committed to PH a total of 4.5 million doses of the shot by May 2021 or two months from now.
The AstraZeneca doses of 525,600 doses were initially scheduled to arrive on March 1 but supply and logistical problems developed as such, the shipment arrived on Thursday, 04 March 2021.
But government officials, led by President Duterte, nevertheless expressed satisfaction with the 487,200 doses landing in the country Thursday night.
The vaccine czar added that all 525,600 doses did not arrive at the same time because a commercial plane was used for its delivery.
A total of 9.2 million doses of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine is expected by the Duterte administration for this year through the COVAX facility.
This is on top of the 17 million procured by the national government, local governments, and the private sector, which are all expected to arrive into the later part of the present year.
Unlike the Chinese donated Sinovac jabs, AstraZeneca’s shot, which has secured emergency use approval from the Food and Drug Administration, has a 70% efficacy rate even as it needs only to stored inside a standard fridge temperature of 2°C.
On the other hand, Sinovac only has a 50.4 percent efficacy rate and is not recommended for use by senior citizens. (AI/MTVN)