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Gov’t to sign supply deal for 30M vials of Novavax vaccines

THE PHILIPPINES will sign a supply deal with Novavax, Inc. this week for 30 million vials of its coronavirus vaccine, according to the Presidential Palace.

The two-shot vaccines are yet to be cleared for use in the United States. It’s efficacy was based on data from trials in the United Kingdom, where it was found to be 96% effective against the original coronavirus and 86% effective against the more contagious British variant.

The shot, however, was found to be only 50% effective against the South African variant, according to a website post of the MIT Technology Review.

Vaccine czar Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. visited India to negotiate the orders for the vaccines developed by Serum Institute of India with Novavax.

Presidential spokesman Herminio L. Roque, Jr. also told a televised news briefing the government had signed a purchase order for one million vials of CoronaVac made by China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd.

The Chinese government earlier donated about 600,000 doses of the CoronaVac.

Mr. Roque said the government had also signed a supply agreement with Moderna, Inc. for 13 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine. The details of the supply deal with Johnson & Johnson were still in progress, he added.

“We have an emergency situation. We will get whatever vaccine we can get. We will use it,” he said.

The Philippines on Mar. 4 took delivery of about 487,200 vials of the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca Plc. More than 38,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine also arrived on Mar. 7.

Mr. Roque said about 35,669 health frontliners had been inoculated against the coronavirus as of Mar. 7.

He said 379,840 doses of Sinovac and 83,700 vials of AstraZeneca have been delivered to 17 regions.

The Philippines aims to inoculate about 70 million Filipinos by yearend to achieve herd immunity.

The vaccine doesn’t need to be given to all Filipinos based on herd immunity, when a large portion of the population becomes immune to the disease, making its spread unlikely. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

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