Health workers inoculate their fellow health workers with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the Ospital ng Maynila on March 9, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN

MANILA — The Serum Institute of India has offered to help the Philippines produce its own vaccines, the country’s coronavirus strategy chief said on Wednesday. 

National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez said he secured this commitment from SII, the world’s largest vaccine maker, on a trip to India last week. 

“Tayo rin po ay nakipag-usap sa Serum Institute of India upang pag-aralan ang posibilidad na ibalik ang kakayahan ng ating bansa na makapag-produce ng sarili nitong bakuna,” he said in the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum. 

(We also had discussions with the Serum Institute of India to talk about the possibility of restoring our country’s capability to produce its own vaccine.)

“Gusto po nilang tulungan tayo na tayo po ay makapag-produce ng sarili nating bakuna,” he added. 

(They want to help to produce our own vaccine.)

The SII is bulk-manufacturing the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Britain’s AstraZeneca-Oxford University, and will soon start bulk-manufacturing the shot by US biotech firm Novavax. 

Galvez said he has signed a supply deal with SII for 30 million Novavax shots, which will start arriving in the Philippines in the third or fourth quarter of 2021. 

Philippines secures 30 million doses of Novavax COVID-19 vaccine – Galvez Watch more in iWantTFC


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