The first batch of the Pfizer-BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine is expected to arrive in the Philippines this May, according to Vaccine Czar Carlito Galvez Jr.
The announcement was made during the National Task Force Against Covid19 chief implementer’s routine report to President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday (May 5).
Galvez said the vaccines will arrive on May 11 as Pfizer’s first vaccine rollout in the country.
“Darating po ng May 11 . . . ‘yung 193,000 [vials] . . . na parang tinatawag natin na mini-rollout ng Pfizer,” he shared.
He said the Pfizer vaccine shipment will be part of a larger batch of anti-coronavirus shots to be delivered in the country through the World Health Organization’s COVAX Facility. The other vaccine set to arrive this month is from AstraZeneca.
Overall, the Philippines is expected to receive 1.3 million vaccines this May.
The COVAX Facility is an initiative by the United Nation’s specialized health agency, which aims to ‘equitably’ distribute vaccines so ‘people in all corners of the world will get access to COVID-19 vaccines once they are available, regardless of their wealth.’
According to Galvez, a portion of the Pfizer vaccines will be dispatched directly to Cebu and Davao and won’t be required to pass through Metro Manila. After that, the vaccines will be distributed to areas that have high numbers of COVID-19 infections.
The initial rollout of Pfizer’s vaccine was scheduled back in mid-February, however, its arrival was hampered by the lack of an indemnity deal, which identifies who will settle the cost of the vaccine’s potential side effects.
At present, the country has vaccinated 2,065,235 Filipinos – 18 percent of which have been fully inoculated.
You can view the Department of Health’s latest inoculation report below.