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Pin to quick picksAstrazeneca Share News (AZN)

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CORRECTED-UPDATE 2-Philippines seals deal for 40 mln Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 doses

Sun, 20th Jun 2021 07:48

(Corrects timetable of delivery in second paragraph)

* Deliveries to begin 'after eight weeks starting August'

* Philippines has secured 113 mln doses from vaccine
suppliers

* Government wants to vaccinate up to 70 million Filipinos

MANILA, June 20 (Reuters) - The Philippine government has
signed a supply agreement for 40 million doses of the COVID-19
vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE
in its biggest coronavirus vaccine deal to date.

Deliveries of the vaccine, among several brands of
coronavirus shots allowed for emergency use in the Southeast
Asian country, will begin in late September, Carlito Galvez,
head of the government's COVID-19 vaccine procurement, said on
Sunday.

The Philippines last week started a programme to vaccinate
35 million people working outside their homes, while continuing
to inoculate priority sectors such as healthcare workers and
elderly citizens, hoping to achieve herd immunity this year.

More than 8 million doses have been administered, of which
about 6 million were for first dose, suggesting a slow vaccine
rollout that puts the government's target to vaccinate up to 70
million people this year in doubt.

Vaccine supply around the capital Manila remains limited,
while COVID-19 cases in several provinces have surged,
complicating efforts to ramp up the immunisation drive in a
country with some of Asia's largest numbers of infections and
deaths.

With the latest deal, the Philippines has secured the
delivery of 113 million doses from five vaccine manufacturers -
also including China's Sinovac with 26 million doses,
Russia's Sputnik V with 10 million doses, 20 million doses from
Moderna and 17 million doses from AstraZeneca.

The ramp-up comes as Taiwan was expecting 2.5 million doses
of the Moderna vaccine to arrive on Sunday from the United
States, more than doubling the arsenal of the
semiconductor-producing island as it deals with a rise in
domestic infections.

The Philippines also expects vaccine deliveries from the
international COVAX facility to reach 44 million doses, while 16
million doses of vaccines developed by Novavax and
Johnson & Johnson were still under negotiation, Galvez
said.

The new arrangement "will significantly boost our national
immunisation programme and will enable us to realize our goal of
achieving herd immunity by year-end," he said.

The Philippines will allow the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to be
given to children aged 12 to 15, possibly starting later this
year when the vaccine inventory will have increased and the
inoculation of the priority sectors has been completed, he said.

(Reporting by Enrico Dela Cruz; Editing by William Mallard and
Christopher Cushing)

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