October 2, 2023

The Department of Health is expecting 390,000 doses of bivalent Covid-19 vaccines to arrive in the country by the end of this month.

DOH Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire reported they have acquired the emergency use authorization and other requirements from the Food and Drug Administration.

“We’re just finalizing the documents. Hopefully by the end of May, we can receive these 390,000 doses,” she said.

The DOH is yet to disclose the name of the donor country and the brand of bivalent vaccines to be donated.

“We don’t have final agreements with Covax because the first batch, which should’ve been delivered to us, got delayed and was given to another country but they have committed that once we’re already ready with our basis legally we can still be given (vaccines),” Vergeire said.

Earlier, the DOH said the 1,002,000 doses of Pfizer’s bivalent jabs from the Covax facility would arrive in March.

Clauses on indemnification and immunity from liability found in the agreements with the donating countries and/or manufacturers remain the main impediments to the delivery of the dona-ted bivalent Covid-19 vaccines.

As for the country donating the 390,000 doses of bivalent jabs, Vergeire said they have agreed to make changes in the clauses in the agreement.

“We discussed with the government of this country and they agreed. The manufacturer was encouraged to agree that we’re not having this immunity, because the statement seems general that we’re giving up on our sovereign rights,” she said. “So, they agreed, the clause was changed, so we were able to proceed.”

As of March 20, more than 78.4 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated, including 7.2 million senior citizens, 10.2 million adolescents, and 5.6 million children.

More than 23.8 million individuals have received their first booster dose and almost 4.4 million have received their second booster shots. – PNA