The Philippines is expected to begin the COVID-19 vaccination next month through COVAX facility, a global platform formed to ensure jabs reach those in greatest need, an official said on Monday.
“Our submission for eligibility list will be on January 18. Just in case it's approved or we're included, there will be an early deployment of either Pfizer or AstraZeneca,” daily Phil Star quoted Carlito Galvez Jr., an advisor to the president, as saying at a senate hearing on Monday.
Under the WHO-led initiative, each country will get doses for 20% of the population in the initial phase.
Two COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers Pfizer and Oxford's AstraZeneca have also sought approval for the vaccine roll out in the Philippines. They are yet to get the approval.
Meanwhile, the country also signed an agreement on Saturday with Serum Institute of India and its local partner Faberco Life Sciences, Inc. to secure 30 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine Covovax.
Galvez said Philippines will secure 30 to 40 million doses of vaccines from US-based Novavax, jointly developed with Serum Institute of India.
The vaccine is currently undergoing phase-three trial in the UK with 15,000 subjects and also ongoing in the US and Mexico with 30,000 subjects.
The archipelago country has reported a total of 487,690 coronavirus cases and 9,404 deaths until Sunday night.
* Riyaz ul Khaliq contributed to this story from Ankara