The bulk of vaccines for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines will arrive in the second quarter this year, National Task Force Against Covid-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. assured on Sunday.
Galvez, also the vaccine czar, reiterated the government remains persistent in its vaccine acquisition efforts.
“The government would be able to significantly scale up the implementation of our vaccine program and enable the country to achieve herd immunity,” he said in a statement. “Rest assured that the Duterte administration has been relentless in acquiring these vaccines to ensure that the country will have a fair share of the doses.”
Galvez said the limited supply of vaccines is a global problem.
“The current production capacity of vaccine manufacturers simply has not been able to keep up with global demand,” he said, adding that most of the anti-Covid vaccines have been pre-ordered by developed countries.
Galvez likewise responded to reports that the country obtained a P10-trillion loan for the implementation of the national vaccination program.
He cited Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd’s remarks that the government has a standby fund of P82.5 billion for the inoculation program, of which P62 billion had been sourced from development partners while the remaining funds were financed internally.
“We have secured enough funding from abroad right now as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank approved just this week separate loans to cover the entire P62-billion component that we plan to secure overseas,” Galvez said, quoting Dominguez.
Galvez noted that all copies of the loan and grant agreements are available on the Department of Finance website.
Dominguez pointed out that having funds will not guarantee that the country will be able to get all the doses it needs, Galvez added.
The country’s initial rollout of its Covid-19 vaccination program began on March 1, following the arrival of 600,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines, immediately followed by 525,400 doses of AstraZeneca.
The Sinovac vaccines were donated by the Chinese government, while the AstraZeneca jabs were from the COVAX Facility.
Galvez also reported that 90 percent of the vaccines have been deployed in the various part of the country, including “far-flung areas such as Batanes in Northern Luzon, and to the southernmost island province of Tawi-Tawi in Mindanao.”“The national vaccination program is still on track, as the government targets to vaccinate 70 million Filipinos this year,” he said. SOVEREIGNPH