PH signs deal to secure 30M doses of Covovax

The Philippine government expects to secure some 30 million doses of Covovax Covid-19 vaccine by the third quarter of this year. Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., signed the deal last Saturday with the Serum Institute of India (SII) and the Faberco Life Sciences, Inc.

“This is a significant milestone in the relations between India and the Philippines. It shows that we don’t have to look far beyond Philippine shores to find friends who are willing to help each other out,” said Kishore Hemlani, founder of Faberco Life Sciences Inc., SII’s Philippine partner after the signing the agreement with Galvez.

SII, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, partnered with Novavax, a US-based bio-technology company for the development and commercialization of the Covovax vaccine.

The vaccine has the recombinant coronavirus spike protein nanoparticle and a Novavax-patented Matrix-M adjuvant to enhance the immune response and stimulate high levels of neutralizing antibodies.

Covovax is in third-stage trials and is expected to be approved for use by international regulators.  “The vaccine will be used to vaccinate 15 million vulnerable and poor Filipinos. The vaccine is stable at 2°C to 8°C, the standard temperature that is within the existing cold chain system in the Philippines, thus allowing its distribution to the remotest barangays,” said Faberco Life Sciences medical director, Dr. Luningning Villa.

The candidate vaccine is thoroughly evaluated in different geographies, various age groups, groups that are most affected by Covid-19, including people living with HIV, and racial and ethnic minorities.

The clinical trials involve a sizeable population of around 50,000 subjects to ensure extreme robust clinical data prior to approval by relevant regulatory bodies including the World Health Organization.

The vaccine underwent the initial phase of the clinical trials in Australia, South Africa and India. Phase three trial is currently carried out in the United Kingdom with 15,000 subjects and also ongoing in the United States and Mexico with 30,000 subjects.

The price of the vaccine is expected to be finalized soon between the government and SII, which is noted for providing effective, safe and affordable vaccines across the globe over the decades. Faberco Life Sciences, Inc., is also SII’s partner for key programs in the country such as the inactivated polio vaccine, rotavirus vaccine, pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, aside from the Covid-19 vaccine.

Photo: Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. (right) poses with Faberco Life Sciences, Inc. founder Kishore Hemlani during the signing of the term sheet for 30 million doses of the Covovax vaccine on January 9, 2021. Photo: Serum Institute of India (SII)

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