The country might be able to get as much 20 million doses of vaccines for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) by the second quarter of this year.
Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., vaccine czar and National Task Force against Covid-19 chief implementer, said on Monday
In a pre-recorded briefing with President Rodrigo Duterte that the 20 million doses would come from Sinovac BioTech, the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility, Novovax, and AstraZeneca.
He added that 2.6 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines purchased by the private sector may arrive in the Philippines in May or June. This is part of the agreement executed by the government and private sector in November last year.
The government is also eyeing Covid-19 vaccines from other suppliers like Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Sinopharm. Over the long term, the Philippines aims to vaccinate up to 70 million citizens to achieve herd immunity.
As for the budget, a total of P72.5 billion has so far been allocated for the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines that will be funded locally and from foreign sources.Galvez also said that over 44,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccines that have arrived in the country have been administered mostly on health frontliners. SOVEREIGNPH