DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire (PNA file photo)

MANILA –The Department of Health (DOH) is drafting the guidelines for the bivalent vaccines against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) as talks with Moderna and Pfizer are underway, DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said Thursday.

The DOH has only recently signed a confidentiality disclosure agreement with Pfizer while negotiation with Moderna was "more advanced," Vergeire said in a presser.

"We will try to procure from both but right now, 'yong sa Moderna 'yong nauuna doon sa steps natin sa negotiation (it is the talks with Moderna that are more advanced in terms of the steps in negotiations)," she said.

Vergeire said DOH will order a "minimal number" of doses that could initially cover the targeted priority groups and later procure more depending on the demand.

“Mayroon naman tayong usapan with the manufacturers na kung saka-sakaling nakita natin na tumaas pa ang demand, maaari tayong umorder agad-agad sa kanila at mai-deliver nila agad-agad (We've already have an agreement with the manufacturers that if we see an increase in demand, we will order more and they could deliver immediately),” she said.

The DOH, Vergeire said, is ordering the reformulated shots "by the millions.”

The Food and Drug Administration had granted emergency use authorization for Pfizer and Moderna's bivalent vaccines, which would provide wider protection against Covid-19 by having a component of the original SARS-CoV-2 strain and a component of Omicron variant.

The DOH earlier said it targets to procure the vaccine in early 2023. (PNA)