First Covax shipment expected March 4, Palace says


(UPDATED) The first Covid-19 vaccine shipment through the Covax facility is expected to arrive in Manila Thursday evening, March 4, 2021, Malacañang announced.

“This is to confirm that the Philippines is set to receive 487,200 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines tomorrow, March 4, 2021, 7:30 p.m., as part of the first round of allocated doses from the Covax facility,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Wednesday, March 3.

The number of doses is lesser than the previously announced 525,600 doses.

The Philippines is one of 92 low and middle-income economies that have been granted access to donor-funded vaccines through the Covax facility advance market commitment.

Under Covax, up to 20 percent of the population of these 92 countries are targeted to be vaccinated against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Malacañang earlier announced that the Philippines expects 44 million doses of vaccines through Covax.

The AstraZeneca vaccine against Covid-19, ChAdOx1-S), was developed by the University of Oxford using chimpanzee adenoviral vector.

It is administered in two doses, at 0.5 ml each, between four and 12 weeks apart.

The Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC), an independent advisory body that provides guidance on the coverage of health interventions and technologies to be funded by the government, recommended the emergency use of the AstraZeneca vaccine among individuals 18 years and older.

But it should not be given to persons with history of anaphylaxis, allergic reactions of any severity, or hypersensitivity to the following:

• L-Histidine

• L-Histidine hydrochloride monohydrate

• Magnesium chloride hexahydrate

• Polysorbate 80

• Ethanol

• Sucrose

• Sodium chloride

• Disodium edetate dihydrate

• Water for injections

Other possible adverse events after inoculation are:

• Tenderness and/or pain in injection site

• Headache

• Malaise or myalgia

• Chills or pyrexia

• Nausea or arthralgia

A physician’s supervision is strictly needed in administering the vaccine to persons with coagulation disorder, such as thrombocytopenia, or receiving anticoagulation therapy.

A physician’s supervision and advice is needed for persons 56 years old and older.

Those with concurrent moderate to severe acute illness, immunocompromised persons or those receiving immunosuppressive therapy, vaccination may be subject to physician advice.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women excluded from other priority groups may also be subject to physician supervision and advice.

Unopened multidose vials of this vaccine can last up to six months if stored, not frozen, at between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius.

While in use, the vaccines should be kept in temperatures between 2 and 25 degrees Celsius.

An emergency use authorization (EUA) was granted for the AstraZeneca vaccine by the Food and Drug Administration on January 28, 2021.

This would be the second vaccine shipment to arrive in the Philippines, after the 600,000 doses of Sinovac vaccine donated by China while arrived on February 28, 2021. (Marites Villamor-Ilano / SunStar Philippines)


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