The government is making “steady progress” in acquiring the country’s supply of vaccines to fight the new coronavirus disease, according to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles

Under the government’s vaccination plan, Nograles said the first 20 million doses will be initially given to health frontliners, poor and vulnerable citizens, and essential workers starting next year.
The government is currently in talks with vaccine makers including Pfizer, Novavax, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Sinovac, Gamaleya and SinoPharm for the country’s supply deals, he added.
” Aside from the 2.6 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine secured last month, we are also set to get an additional 30 million doses from the same manufacturer by next year, on top of another possible 30 million doses of the Novavax vaccine,” Nograles said.
“Once these vaccines are in hand, the President wants to provide these for free particularly for the poor and the most vulnerable sectors in the vaccination roll-out. For the first 20 million doses the plan is to prioritize the frontliners such as medical personnel, the poor––especially, those enrolled in the 4Ps program––and the vulnerable as well as essential workers,” he added.
Nograles also brushed aside allegations about the government’s slow pandemic response, citing the administration’s swift efforts to deal with the health emergency. He cited that the government has applied “all hands on deck” approach especially in securing vaccines for Filipinos.
“Even while these vaccines were in various stages of development, the government was already taking steps necessary to obtain these vaccines,” he said.
“The President even gave the green light to pay for the vaccines in advance in order to guarantee vaccine shots for millions of Filipinos, and the government has been working to obtain financing in order to procure these vaccines,” he added.
Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. recently said the government may secure “more or less 80 million doses” of coronavirus vaccines from various suppliers abroad. He denied that the government was focusing on a few vaccines, citing negotiations with several vaccine makers. He also assured that there would be stringent procedures in acquiring safe and effective vaccines.

Source: Manila Bulletin (