THE Philippines has secured another deal for the purchase of an additional 20 million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccines against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), the country’s vaccine czar said on Wednesday.

National Task Force Against Covid-19 Chief Implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. said in a virtual press briefing that the Philippine government would sign a deal with Astrazeneca on Thursday, January 14.

After the signing, Galvez said a tripartite supply agreement would be signed by the national government, the local government units (LGUs) and the vaccine maker.

“Ang responsibility ng LGU ay to administer the vaccines (The responsibility of the LGUs now is to administer the vaccine distribution),” the Cabinet official said.

Titingnan ang allocation ng LGUs at gagawin itong equitable. Ang LGU na hindi makakabili dahil walang pondo, kami ang magpupuno ng whole 70 percent,” he added.

The national government and the private sector previously secured 2.6 million doses of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccines.

The 2.6 million doses, funded by the private sector and donated to the Philippine government, are good for one million people.

AstraZeneca, British Swedish multinational and biopharmaceutical company, has set its price at only $5, or about P500 for two shots of the vaccine.

The vaccine, known as AZD1222, was co-developed with the Oxford University’s Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group.

Administered by intramuscular injection, the vaccine uses as a vector a modified chimpanzee adenovirus.

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