Philippines team to visit India next week for Covid vaccine deal

at 11:24 pm
COVID-19 vaccines
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New Delhi (NVI): A team of officials from Philippines is expected to arrive in India next week to secure supplies of two COVID-19 vaccines — Covovax from Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, for which Emergency Use Approval (EUA) is pending since January 21.

The Philippines government had signed a deal in January to secure the supply of 30 million doses of the Covovax from Serum Institute of India (SII). The vaccine has been developed by US Pharma major Novovax and being manufactured in by Pune-based SII.

Shambhu Kumaran, Indian envoy to Philippines, made the announcement regarding the team’s visit while responding to a tweet by Philippines Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr, yesterday.

The Philippines FS had yesterday tweeted that more vaccines including US-made Covovax are set to arrive in the country as a ‘term sheet’ has already been signed for 30 million doses. He was referring to the January deal. He said that the supply contract is yet to be signed.

He also mentioned Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin for which Emergency User Approval is pending since January 21 before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of Philippines.

“More coming. Covovax developed by US Novovax. Term sheet signed for 30M doses. Supply contract has gotta be signed—key to get it by 2nd half 2021. Covaxin by Bharat Biotech. EUA pending since 21 January.  PM Modi took it. If we get off our asses some supply by 2nd quarter 2021,” Teddy tweeted.

In response to Teddy’s tweet, the India envoy said: “Thank you Secretary @teddyboylocsin for clear enunciation of state of play on our vaccine cooperation: #Covovax (Serum) and #Covaxin (Bharat Biotech). Confident both will happen. Covovax: Phil team visiting India next week to finalize. Covaxin: Strong engagement underway with FDA.”

In another tweet this evening, the Indian envoy said that decisive action in expected for early supplies of Covaxin to Philippines, following results showing 81% efficacy of the vaccine in Phase 3 trials.

“Outstanding news from @BharatBiotech: 81% efficacy for Covaxin in Phase 3 trials and effective against new variants! Briefed DG @FDAPhilippines in detail today, hope for decisive action on EUA and early supplies to #Philippines,” he tweeted.

Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech today announced that phase 3 clinical results of its Covid-19 vaccine- Covaxin demonstrated an interim clinical efficacy of 81% against novel coronavirus.