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PH vaccine stockpile from AstraZeneca reaches 17 million doses

The Philippines has secured a total of 17 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from British manufacturer AstraZeneca, so far, thanks to the efforts of the private sector and local government units (LGUs).

On Thursday, January 14, representatives of around 300 companies and 39 LGUs held a ceremonial signing of the memorandum of agreement with AstraZeneca.

The 17 million includes the 2.6 million doses secured by the private sector in November 2020, half of which would be donated to the government. (READ: LIST: Local governments' plans for COVID-19 vaccines)

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr said the AstraZeneca doses would be for around 8 million people.

In the briefing, Galvez thanked Teresita Sy Coson of SM Investments Corporation for making the deals possible.

The Philippines is trying to get a total of 148 million doses for 2021 from various manufacturers. 

Galvez said the rollout is expected within the 2nd half of 2021, considering "supply and demand" factors.

The vaccine from AstraZeneca can be transported and handled "at normal refrigerated conditions" of between 2°C and 8°C (36°F and 46°F) for at least 6 months, making it compatible with the Department of Health's storage facilities.

"Ito po ang puwede nating i-deploy sa far-flung areas dahil hindi po ito nangangailangan ng [negative-temperature] cold chain [facility]," Galvez said.

(We can deploy this to far-flung areas because it doesn't need a negative-temperature cold chain facility.) – Rappler.com

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.

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