MANILA – The Philippines will be able to secure four to 25 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna Inc. and Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings Inc., the South Asian ambassador to Washington said on Friday.
US companies have been ready to supply the vaccine since the third quarter of 2021, said Philippine Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdes if his government accepted their proposals.
“We hope our government will consider the promising candidates Moderna և Arcturus for inclusion in our COVID-19 vaccine pool,” Romualdes said.
The US Food and Drug Administration is expected to issue a moderna patent for Moderna soon. Arcturus expects to distribute its vaccines in the first quarter of next year after early-stage trials showed promising results.
Moderna և Arcturus did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
At a press conference, Philippine Deputy Health Minister Maria Rosario Vergeier welcomed the signs of progress in the talks, but said each vaccine candidate should receive a regulatory approval to ensure safety and effectiveness.
The Philippines plans to buy 25 million doses of the vaccine for delivery by China’s Sinovac Biotech by March. In addition, last month the private sector agreed to acquire a 2.6 million shot vaccine from AstraZeneca, which was developed for the first delivery of the coronavirus vaccine.
The Southeast Asian country missed out on the opportunity to buy 10 million doses of Pfizer for delivery in January, Romualdes said.
The Philippines has the second-highest number of COVID-19 deaths in Indonesia Southeast Asia with 454,447 infections and 8,850 deaths.