Philippines, AstraZeneca Sign Deal for 2.6 Million Doses

The Philippines signed a deal with AstraZeneca Plc to buy 2.6 million coronavirus vaccine doses, amid questions about the vaccine’s trial results.

Philippine companies will buy the vaccine doses, and donate half to government, presidential adviser on entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion said during the virtual signing. The vaccines may arrive in the Southeast Asian nation by May or June and help about 1.5 million people, he added.

The private sector is in talks with AstraZeneca to buy 1 million more doses, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez said at the same event. Some companies that chipped in for the vaccine acquisition include BDO Unibank Inc., Ayala Corp., JG Summit Holdings Inc., San Miguel Corp., Metro Pacific Investments Corp., Jollibee Foods Corp. and International Container Terminal Services Inc.

AstraZeneca is seeking to conduct clinical trials in the Philippines, Philippine Council for Health Research and Development Executive Director Jaime Montoya said earlier Friday. The error acknowledged by Astrazeneca isn’t likely to have effect on the vaccine’s efficacy, he said.

“It’s worth the risk to put a bet on this vaccine,” Concepcion said. Priced at about $10 per two doses, AstraZeneca’s vaccine is among the most affordable, he said.

Concepcion also said many private companies are interested to join and based on the demand, orders could easily double should another purchase agreement is reached with AstraZeneca.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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