COVID-19 Updates in the Philippines

The Philippines has now a total of 410,000 COVID-19 confirmed cases, 7,839 number of deaths, and 374,000 recoveries.

Newly appointed Vaccine czar and National Task Force Chief Implementer Carlito Galvez said that the COVID-19 vaccine will most likely arrive in the Philippines by the end of 2021 or in early 2022. He mentioned in the press briefing with the Department of Health (DOH) that it was the realistic timeline and worst-case scenario for when the country would receive the vaccine to stop the virus transmission.

The main bulk of vaccines lacks a global supply for the majority of production was already obtained by rich countries. On the other hand, the best-case scenario would be in May 2021.

According to Galvez, the government was in talks with 17 vaccine manufacturers from 10 different countries or regions, including China, the US, and Russia, about providing a potential vaccine. Other countries that could supply the vaccine are Australia, Germany, Israel, India, Singapore, Taiwan, and Britain. Philippines aims at least 50 million COVID-19 vaccine shots to immunize about a fourth of the country’s large population.

Meanwhile, the Philippine ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez said during a televised news conference that American drug maker Pfizer had agreed to sell the vaccine to the Philippines as soon as it is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Romualdez estimated Pfizer could charge the Philippines about US$5 per dose.

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