(File photo)

MANILA – The Philippines will be receiving its initial replacement of near-expiry coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines from the COVAX Facility on June 20, a health official said Tuesday.

Earlier, the Department of Health (DOH) submitted a demand forecast of 34 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to the COVAX Facility.

It assured it would replace the expiring vaccines it donated and those procured by the national government and local government units and the private sector.

“We are still ongoing with our negotiations with them, but by June 20, may initial na tayong replacements (we have initial replacements) coming from COVAX, and this will be worth 300,000 vaccines [doses],” DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an online media forum.

To date, the country has received 245,083,080 doses of Covid-19 vaccines.

Of the donated 86,532,040 doses, 73,916,210 doses or 85.42 percent were from COVAX.

The COVAX is a worldwide initiative aimed at equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines.

Vergeire said there are upcoming negotiations with COVAX for the remaining near-expiry jabs.

Tapos sa mga susunod pa na negosasyon, may mga madadagdag pa na papalitan nila (In the future negotiations, they will send additional replacements),” she added.

As of May 26, a total of 150,123,168 doses of Covid-19 have been administered nationwide, with 14,040,380 as first booster shots for the entire eligible population and 204,309 as second booster shots for immunocompromised adults, senior citizens, and medical front-liners. (PNA)