The Philippines may receive larger volume of COVID-19 vaccines after the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility committed more vaccine supply, the country’s vaccine czar said on Wednesday.
“So ‘yon po ang magandang balita po, Mr. President, na this coming May, baka madagdagan po ng 2 to 3 million po ‘yong ating volume na from 4 million baka po maging 7 million po,” Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said during a meeting with President Duterte.
“So pataas po nang pataas ang volume po, Mr. President. Talagang ang medyo nahirapan lang po tayo noong March at saka April. Pero ngayong May medyo mayroon pong bubuhos sa atin na at nagpapasalamat po kami sa COVAX at saka sa Gavi, and also WHO.”
Vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca are expected to be delivered to the Philippines through the global COVAX program this month, said Galvez, who is also the chief implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID-19.
The country may receive one million or two million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine while 1.3 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will be available, according to Galvez.
“Darating po ng May 11 most likely ‘yong 193,000 na initial rollout na parang ‘yon po ang parang tinatawag nating mini rollout ng Pfizer para maging gamay na po natin ‘yong ano ‘yong negative 70,” he said.
Galvez also reported that Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines ordered by the private will arrive in the country in June.
The government plans to send Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine directly to Davao and Cebu considering the sensitive nature of the jab.
Galvez assured President Duterte that there will be no mishandling of the vaccine during its delivery in Davao and Cebu, noting appropriate freezers and refrigerators are already in place.
“Mayroon po tayo sir na mga ultra freezer na nandoon po sa Davao. I believe mayroon pong mga third-party provider, for example, ‘yong ating Pharmaserv at saka po ‘yong ating Zuellig na kinokontrata po natin, may 500,000 po na kaya nilang iano po at a time,” he said.
“And then pagka once na medyo nasanay na po tayo doon, puwede na po nating i-diretso rin po sa ibang lugar, sa Iloilo or doon sa Bacolod na mayroon pong ultra-cold chain na mga refrigerator po. Actually, bumili po ‘yong mga LGU natin, Mr. President,” he added.
The government has so far administered two million COVID-19 vaccine shots as of Tuesday with 1.7 million Filipinos receiving the initial dose, Galvez said. PND