Sat. Jan 29th, 2022

The National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 said negotiations for the procurement of 90 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine with pharmaceutical companies are underway

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Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., the NTF chief and vaccine czar, said Sunday the government is on its second wave of vaccine procurement deals with Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and Gamaleya Research Institute.

Novavax, another American biotechnology company based in Gaithersburg, Maryland, received its EUA (emergency use authorization) this month and Galvez said it is still part of the negotiations.

He said the government is working to utilize the $45 million (around P2.2 billion) funding earmarked for 2022 through multilateral partners World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

The national goal of full vaccination remains at 50 to 54 million Filipinos this year, up to 77 million by the first quarter next year, and 90 million by the end of the second quarter.

“We included in our threshold to finish the vaccination of children [12 to 17 years old by end of December,” he added during a virtual media briefing in Filipino.

The government has already advised vaccine makers to apply for EUA to inoculate children 5 to 11 years old.

Galvez said the administration of booster and additional shots to health care workers (A1), senior citizens (A2) and immunocompromised (A3), and the 12-17 age group can be finished by the end of this year.

“With the coming of the Omicron [coronavirus variant], we want to make sure to get our basic and focused target of A1, A2, A3, the most vulnerable,” he said.

Completion of primary and additional doses would lessen the “country’s rates on critical disease, hospitalization and excessive death”, Galvez added.

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