COVID-19 Vaccine Update in the Philippines

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The COVID-19 vaccine will most likely arrive in the Philippines by the end of 2021 or in early 2022.

Newly appointed Vaccine czar and National Task Force Chief Implementer Carlito Galvez Jr said yesterday, November 9, in a press briefing with the Department of Health. According to him, it is the realistic timeline and worst-case scenario for when the country would receive the vaccine to stop the virus transmission.

“Realistically speaking, baka po end of the year (2021) or 2022 darating ang main bulk ng vaccines kasi nakita nating meron po tayong kakulangan sa supply dahil ang mga mayayamang country ay kinuha na po yung majority of production,” Galvez said.

The main bulk of vaccines lacks a global supply for the majority of production was already obtained by rich countries.

On the other hand, Galvez also stated that the best-case scenario would be in May 2021.

“Ang (our) best case scenario ay (is) May 2021,” the official said, citing the country’s experts.

Philippines aims at least 50 million COVID-19 vaccine shots to immunize about a fourth of the country’s large population. Duterte administration is evaluating 17 vaccines in various stages and talks to source the supply to initially vaccinate 25 million people, Galvez added.

The government plans to secure the vaccine through multilateral and bilateral agreements, aside from the WHO-backed Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (COVAX) facility, which guarantees the country will get vaccines for 20% of its population, Galvez said.

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