The Philippines government has signed a second vaccine deal to procure 30 million doses of Covovax, the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Novavax. The candidate is developed by the Serum Institute of India (SII), one of the largest vaccine makers. The vaccine will be available in the 3rd quarter of 2021.
No Vaccines Approvals Yet
Phillippine aims to vaccinate 70% of the population. To achieve that, the Philippines needs to acquire at least 148 million doses.
According to Faberco Life Sciences Medical Director Dr. Luningning Villa: “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.”
For now, three vaccine providers, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Russia’s Gamaleya, have submitted applications of emergency use authorization for vaccine in Phillippine, but none have been approved.
AstraZeneca is the first vaccine manufacturer that has struck up a deal with the Philippines government. At the end of November, AstraZeneca promised 2.6 million vaccines that will arrive by May, June. Carlito Galvez, a former military general in charge of the Philippines’ strategy to fight the coronavirus, revealed that the Philippines private sector is also attempting to obtain 1 million doses.
The Philippines government is currently negotiating with 7 manufacturers for possible vaccine deals to accomplish the goal.
Entering Phase 3 Clinical Trials
Covovax is made of a recombinant coronavirus spike protein nanoparticle and a Novavax-patented Matrix-M adjuvant to enhance the immune response and stimulate high levels of neutralizing antibodies. Novavax collaborated with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for conducting clinical trials.
The early stage of the Covovax trial conducted in Australia, South Africa, and India included 50,000 subjects with different geographies, ages, and subjects that are racial and ethnic minorities to ensure the data is sturdy enough while the phase 3 trials are currently run in the UK, U.S., and Mexico.
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