Limited COVID-19 vaccine global supply delays supply agreement in PH


Following recent allegations of snail-paced negotiations between the Philippine government and vaccine manufacturers, the National Task Force Against COVID-19 Chief Implementer and Vaccine Czar Secretary Carlito G. Galvez, yesterday, February 14, clarified that the supply agreement negotiations are ongoing and that the current limited global supply is the primary reason why vaccine manufacturers cannot proceed with supply agreements with the government.

In an interview with ANC last 12 February 2021, Sec. Galvez emphasized that a supply agreement is a binding contract and that negotiating supply agreements is a complicated process which provides for specific details such as payment schemes and definite delivery dates, among others, the DoH said in a press statement.

Sec. Galvez further noted due to the binding nature of supply agreements, and given the limited supply of vaccines globally, manufacturers have not been able to commit specific delivery dates, hence preventing them from entering into supply agreements with the national government. Moreover, Sec. Galvez reported that no indicative delivery dates have been provided by any of the manufacturers the country is in talks with either.

Meanwhile, with the recent confirmation that the Philippines will receive doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from the COVAX Facility, the Philippine government has completed the first set of requirements set by COVAX which includes documents pertaining to the country’s readiness to receive vaccines, as well as the deployment plan. The government is now awaiting other documentary requirements which have yet to be provided by the COVAX Facility.

“The entire vaccine cluster, with our Vaccine Czar Sec. Charlie Galvez at the helm, is doing everything to secure cost-effective vaccines for the Philippines at the soonest possible time. In the meantime, with the arrival of vaccines from the COVAX Facility just around the corner, our attention and efforts are focused towards ensuring the country’s readiness to roll out the vaccines,” Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said.

“As the entire government prepares for the COVID-19 vaccination, I call for the cooperation of everyone in addressing the persistent issue of vaccine hesitancy–we want everyone to be assured that vaccines are safe and effective. I further call on the public to continue strict and proper adherence to our Minimum Public Health Standards. Yes, vaccines will afford us a certain degree of protection, but we emphasize that prevention remains to be the best strategy to combat COVID-19,” Sec. Duque added.