Delivery of bivalent Covid-19 jabs from COVAX on hold: DOH

By Ma. Teresa Montemayor

March 28, 2023, 4:49 pm

<p>Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine<em> (PNA photo by Oliver Marquez)</em></p>

Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine (PNA photo by Oliver Marquez)

MANILA -- The delivery of bivalent coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines donated by the COVAX Facility has been put on hold as the contract is still under review, a health official said Tuesday.

In a media forum, Department of Health (DOH) Officer in Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said the Office of the Solicitor General and the Department of Justice are still reviewing the agreement.

Earlier, the DOH said the 1,002,000 million doses of Pfizer's bivalent jabs from the COVAX Facility would arrive by the third or fourth week of March.

“Kailangan po maintindihan ng ating mga kababayan ‘yun pong clause na naka-include dito sa ating mga agreements would require for us to have indemnification, unang una. Pangalawa is immunity from liability, at ito po ang pinag-aaralan nang maigi para naman hindi natin nagi-give up ang ating mga karapatan bilang bansa (Our fellowmen must understand that the clause included in these agreements would require for us to have indemnification, first. Second is immunity from liability, and these are being studied so as not to give up our rights as a country),” Vergeire said.

She noted “one of the more concrete ways” to secure Covid-19 vaccines would be the stipulations under the proposed creation of the Center for Disease Prevention and Control.

“Tayo po ay nag-include diyan ng isang provision kung saan mako-cover na po itong mga iniiwasan natin o mga (We have included a provision covering the things we are avoiding or) provisions needed in our agreements with those that are going to donate vaccines for Covid-19 here in the country,” she added.

The DOH is also coordinating with the Office of the President and other agencies to find other ways so the transaction could proceed.

As of March 16, more than 78.4 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated, including 7.2 million senior citizens, 10.2 million adolescents, and more than 5.6 million children.

More than 23.8 million individuals have received their first booster dose and almost 4.4 million have received their second booster shot. (PNA)