MANILA, Mar 5 (Mabuhay) –The first batch of 20 million doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines will arrive in the Philippines by June, at the latest, Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez said.

“Ito po iyong ’yung funded ng private sector saka ng World Bank. Hindi naman po sabay-sabay ‘yan [darating], pero ‘yung first batch, mga first week of May or no later than June, then tuloy-tuloy na sa third and fourth quarter of the year,” Romualdez said during the Laging Handa briefing.

“Half of this will be used by the private sector, the other half will be used by our health workers and the LGUs (local government units),” he added.

Moderna is an American company, and its COVID-19 vaccine has shown 94% efficacy rate after human trials, so far.

Aside from Moderna, Romualdez said American company Johnson and Johnson has allocated six million of its Janssen COVID-19 vaccine to the Philippines.

Janssen is the lone COVID-19 vaccine which is administered with a single dose.

“Iyong Janssen, naka-ready na, may commitment na sila for us na six million [doses], hindi lang nila masabi kung kelan made-deliver kasi priority muna nila iyong vaccination of 70% people of the people here [in the United States],” he added.

The Philippines started its COVID-19 vaccination program last March 1, with health workers being the first in line to be inoculated.

The country’s first legal shipment of COVID-19 vaccine was the 600,000 doses from Sinovac the Chinese government donated, which arrived last February 28.

This was followed by the 487,200 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine donated by European nations and Australia under the global initiative COVAX facility which arrived on March 4. (MNS)

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