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Philippines to get 30 mln doses of Novavax COVID-19 vaccine - minister

MANILA, Dec 21 (Reuters) - The Philippines expects to receive 30 million doses of Novavax Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine by July next year, its foreign minister said on Monday, boosting the country’s effort to secure supplies to inoculate more than 100 million people.

Despite consultations with numerous vaccine makers, the Philippines has so far signed only one supply deal, with the help of its private sector, to acquire 2.6 million shots of a vaccine developed by AstraZeneca.

It plans to buy 25 million doses of a vaccine from China’s Sinovac Biotech for delivery by March and aims to secure between four and 25 million doses of vaccines from Moderna and Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings Inc.

“Thirty million dosages of the Indian-made Novavax vaccines are assured possibly with no cash advance. It will be available by July 2021,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin said in an interview with CNN Philippines.

He said the information came from Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine producer, and that the terms of the supply deal may be signed before the end of the year.

There was no immediate comment from the institute, which in August entered a supply and license agreement with Novavax Inc for the development and commercialization of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

Talks with Moderna, which has been granted emergency use authorisation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, will begin next week, Locsin said.

With 459,789 infections and 8,947 deaths, the Philippines has recorded the second-highest number of COVID-19 infections and casualties in Southeast Asia after Indonesia. (Reporting by Karen Lema; Editing by Martin Petty)

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