Enough funds in store for COVID-19 vaccines
All Filipino adults will be vaccinated
MANILA – The Philippine government hopes over 100 percent of the county’s adult population will be vaccinated with US$1.3 billion in loan financing from multilateral lenders. The amount includes the country’s contribution of US$84 million to the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access or COVAX facility.
Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III told President Rodrigo Duterte Monday night that the government is guaranteeing that funds for more than enough vaccine doses are available for 70 million adults and to allow any spillage or delay in deliveries.
He said the loans from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), World Bank (WB) and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will be enough for 106 million doses worth US$1.2 billion, while the COVAX Facility is expected to deliver another 40 million doses.
During the meeting hosted by President Rodrigo Duterte Monday night, Secretary Dominguez said a three-pronged strategy on vaccine procurement, composed of multilateral approach including accessing funds from ADB, WB and AIIB and joining the COVAX Facility, partnering with the private sector and working with local government units.
Under the strategy, the private sector and LGUs will pay for their own vaccine purchases. Though the approaches are independent of each other, they are coordinated to guarantee enough vaccines for 100 percent of the adult population in the Philippines.
Around 40 million of the Filipino population who are below 18 years old cannot be vaccinated, leaving about 70 million adults covered by the Duterte government’s COVID-19 vaccination program,
Over in Malacañang at the midday Press Briefing hosted by Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Vaccine Czar Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. said nobody among the identified citizens up for vaccination will be allowed to pay for the vaccine.
“President Duterte promised to make the vaccines available for the poorest of the poor,” said Secretary Galvez. (Melo M. Acuña)