P75 billion allotted for COVID-19 vaccines
MANILA – At least P75 billion has been earmarked to purchase the needed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID0-19) vaccines for some 57 million Filipinos.
This was the announcement made by Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles in a virtual press conference Tuesday morning.
Secretary Nograles said the announcement was made by the Department of Finance during the 50th Cabinet meeting in Malacañang held early Monday night.
He said several local government units have allocated funds to buy COVID-19 vaccines for at least 13 million residents.
“When you add the 13 million Filipinos that will be covered by LGY and private sector vaccination efforts, a total of 70 million Filipinos should be able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine,” Nograles said.
“We are confident to be able to cover many Filipinos and that’s enough for nerd immunity,” he said. The Cabinet secretary added the planned roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines in the country “is good news that impacts not only the health of the people but the economic well-being of the country as well,” Nograles said.
Earlier, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Philippines has secured 25 million doses of the COVID-19 from China’s Sinovac with the first 50,000 of the 25 million vaccine doses will arrive in February. Some 15,000 will be utilized for clinical trials.
Secretary Roque said Sinovac will deliver additional 950,000 doses by March with a million doses for April and May and 2 million doses in June until all 25 million doses are delivered by June until all the 25 million doses have been earmarked for December this year.
It will be recalled the government signed deals for vaccines developed by the Serum Institute of India (SII) and British pharma company AstraZeneca. Secretary Roque said some 30 million doses of the Indian-made Covovax vaccine will be delivered by the third quarter.
The Philippine government has been negotiating with other pharmaceutical companies including Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson and Russia’s Gamaleya.
The government has also been discussing with other big-time pharma companies including Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson and Russia’s Gamaleya. (Melo M. Acuña)
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque. (Screen grab from January 21 Press briefing. (Melo M. Acuna)