While the government is struggling with the delays on the arrival of vaccines for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) due to limited global supply, National Policy Against Covid-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. assured they are doubling efforts to get early delivery of vaccines by the first quarter this year.
“This is the biggest challenge to us because the global demand is high but the supply for the first quarter is limited,” Galvez, who is also the country’s vaccine czar, told President Rodrigo Duterte in a virtual public briefing aired on Wednesday night.
Galvez said they are currently negotiating with the governments of Britain, China, India, and Russia for the delivery of additional doses of Covid-19 vaccines in the country for the first quarter.
He cited the need to vaccinate around 1.7 million healthcare workers, the indigent population, and senior citizens.
He said the country might offer to pay “a little higher” to ensure the early delivery of Covid-19 vaccines within the first quarter.
“That’s why we are negotiating with the vaccine manufacturers to make an early delivery,” he said in Filipino. “And we are also negotiating to even pay a little higher just to ensure the early delivery of the vaccines by the first and second quarters this year.”
Galvez said they are expecting to receive about 161 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine by the end of 2021.
“It’s part of our strategy to offset their prices, we will increase the prices so that it would come early,” he said in Filipino. SOVEREIGNPH