The inoculation of the COVID-19 vaccine in the Philippines may start around March or April 2021 according to the Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III. He said on Monday that the best-case scenario would be next year as per some analysis headed by Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.
“We’ve done some scenario analysis under the leadership of Sec. (Carlito Jr) Galvez and I think the best-case scenario would be about the end of the first quarter of 2021 or the start of the second quarter of next year,” Duque told ANC’s Headstart when asked when the inoculation may begin.
“A lot of factors will have to be taken into consideration to be able to more definitively set schedules for actual distribution, deployment, and inoculation of our people within our priority list,” he added.
The Philippines is currently struggling to get Filipino citizens to be vaccinated against the Novel Corona Virus for wealthy nations already snap up the supply. The government has difficulties in securing shares from the country’s diplomatic friends like China, Australia, and the United States.
“But we are trying hard na makakuha po tayo ng vaccine mule sa mga diplomatic friends natin tulad ng China, Australia and other countries like the US, na makakuha po tayo ng vaccine during the first quarter,” Galvez said in a public briefing.
Likewise, the World Health Organization and COVID-19 global vaccine alliance (COVAX) got 2 percent only of the potential vaccines while richer nations have snapped up more than 80 percent.
Potential vaccines such as AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, Sinovac, Gamaleya, Jhonson & Jhonson, Clover Biopharmaceuticals, Sinopharm, Novavax, and others are being reviewed by the Philippines for purchase or Phase 3 trials.
AstraZeneca (University of Oxford) is applying to hold Phase 3 clinical trials in the country, wherein a vaccine is tested on larger populations in different countries to confirm its efficacy and safety.
The national government, along with the private sector, inked a deal with the UK company last Nov. 27 for 2.6 million doses of the vaccine. This is expected to be rolled out in the Philippines by June 2021 if it passed clinical trials.