AstraZeneca signed a supply contract with the Philippines to provide 2.6million doses of its coronavirus vaccine on Friday. The vaccine will protect a whopping population of 1.5 million people.
The vaccine developed by the researchers of Oxford University in collaboration with the British pharmaceutical giant is enough for almost two-thirds population of the country.
The agreement was signed by Carlito Galvez, the chief implementer of the government’s National Task Force Against COVID-19; Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion, representing the private sector; and Lotis Ramin, president of AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals Philippines Inc.
It is expected that the vaccines will arrive by the Q2 of 2021. The vaccine price will be paid by the private firms but half doses of the vaccine will be donated to the Government to help the community unable to pay for it.
“We were all called upon to help find solutions to this unprecedented public health crisis. This is because we know that our lives and the lives of our loved ones are at stake. If the country is to survive, we must rely [upon] and take care of each other,” Galvez said during a virtual deal-signing ceremony.
He added, “The agreement we are forging today is one of a kind and perhaps one of the first being done across the globe — a partnership wherein the private sector will purchase the vaccines and donate it to the government,”
He also said that the vaccine doses (2.6 million) will prove to be a game-changer in the Philippines
He added that the guaranteed 2.6 million vaccine doses from AstraZeneca will be a game-changer in the Philippines’ “quest to recover and heal together” and will give Filipinos confidence that there is now a “chance to beat the virus and win back the lives that we lost.”
Galvez said that the Government is continuously in talks with AstraZeneca for another purchase of another 1 million doses of vaccine and also in touch with other vaccine producers for its three to five-year strategy to annually immunize between 25 and 30 million people.
In response to a question that why the AstraZeneca vaccine was chosen, Concepcio said that the vaccine offers a very affordable price and obviously has a good reputation.
He added, the private sector will donate the vaccine to the government especially for the “Frontliners in the field, the medical people, the police, the military and the rest that are in the most vulnerable sector…and the poorest of the poor.”
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