Philippine Government may receive 20 million COVID-19 vaccine doses in 2nd quarter of 2021 says vaccine czar

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte presides over a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members prior to his talk to the people at the Arcadia Active Lifestyle Center in Matina, Davao City on March 8, 2021. I Richard Madelo, Presidential Photo

The Philippine government may secure more than 20 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the second quarter of this year, the country’s vaccine czar said on Monday, March 8.

In his report to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said the Philippines may receive more than 20 million doses of vaccines in April, May or June.

Galvez, who is also the chief implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID-19, told the President that in June or July, he expects shipments from Sinovac, Novavax and the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility.

“And then also ‘yong ano sir sa May – June, baka dumating na rin po ‘yong AstraZeneca. Mayroon pong order ang private sector na 2.6 million (doses),” Galvez told President Duterte.

The vaccine czar also reported the recent vaccine shipment, telling the President that they have received the additional 38,400 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine from the COVAX facility.

With the latest delivery, the government had a total of 525,600 doses from the WHO-led initiative.

“Then ngayon, ang total na po ng ating doses na dumating po ngayon is from 600,000 na Sinovac at saka 525,600. So ang total na po mayroon na po tayong 1,125,600 doses,” Galvez said.

Galvez also mentioned the ongoing vaccine rollout in the country, which he said, is now being done outside Metro Manila. The government started mass vaccination among health frontliners last March 4 in Cagayan de Oro City, Vicente Sotto Memorial Hospital in Cebu City, and Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City.

Mass inoculation was also conducted in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) using Sinovac vaccine, he reported, adding similar rollouts were done in different civilian hospitals including Makati Medical Center.

Public confidence on COVID-19 vaccines is also increasing, Galvez said, noting that after hospital directors received the shots, there’s a growing acceptance of the jab from the people.

“Noong nagkaroon po tayo ng vaccination ng ating mga director ng mga hospital, tumaas po ang level ng kanilang confidence,” he said.

“In fact, doon sa Northern Mindanao Medical Center, almost — halos 100 percent ‘yong nagpapabakuna na.”

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