Rollout of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines starts in the Philippines

Vaccine recipients in the Philippines were finally offered Moderna’s COVID-19 jab for the first time after a local government unit (LGU) in Metro Manila rolled out the American-made doses on Wednesday, June 30.

The San Juan city government deployed the vaccines to its main inoculation site, the FilOil Flying V Center, on Wednesday morning.

The city government said the 1,800 Moderna doses were delivered Tuesday night, and would be available to those under priority groups A1 to A5, namely health workers, senior citizens, persons with comorbidities, economic frontline workers, and indigent Filipinos.

“San Juan City rented ultra low freezers, which are on standby at the arena, so the vaccines can be properly stored on-site at -25C to -15C temperature,” the public information office said in a media advisory on Tuesday.

“The city health office already prepared and underwent training for the handling and inoculation of Moderna vaccines to its residents last week,” it added.

San Juan's share came from the initial 249,600 Moderna doses that arrived in the Philippines on Sunday, June 27.

That shipment marked the entry into the Philippines of the fifth vaccine brand for the country's inoculation drive, after Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Sputnik V, and Pfizer-BioNTech.

Other LGUs are expected to roll out the US-made vaccine shots in their localities in the coming days.

Phase three trials showed that Moderna has 94% efficacy in preventing clinical COVID-19 and 100% efficacy against a severe disease.

As of June 27, 2.5 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, out of the 7.5 million individuals who had received their first dose. —