By Andreo Calonzo
The Philippines will sign a deal with AstraZeneca Plc. on Thursday for up to 20 million additional doses of its COVID-19 vaccines.
Private companies and local officials are helping the central government secure AstraZeneca shots, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez said at a televised briefing. Talks are ongoing with the vaccine-maker for first shipments to arrive this quarter, he added.
The first to arrive in the Philippines will likely be vaccines from Pfizer Inc. – to be obtained through the World Health Organization-backed Covax facility – and Sinovac Biotech Ltd., Galvez said. The Philippines, which has Southeast Asia’s second-worst coronavirus outbreak, aims to buy 148 million vaccine doses to inoculate more than half of the population this year.
The Philippines is in final stages of talks with Moderna Inc. for at least 10 million doses, with an option of adding 10 million more, to be delivered by mid-year, CNN Philippines reported, citing Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez.
The Health Department on Wednesday reported 146 more deaths due to COVID-19 – the most since September 14 based on Bloomberg data and the second straight day that the count exceeded 100. Total coronavirus cases were at over 492,000.
© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.