The government assured on Monday that country is 100-percent ready for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccination drive that is expected to start in the middle of this month.
“The COVAX facility of the World Health Organization (WHO) said in their letter that the vaccines will be made available and it will come to us by mid-February. So what I am saying is we are very much ready by mid-February or February 15,” Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque said partly in Filipino following a meeting with officials of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) in Malacañang.
In the same meeting, National Policy Against Covid-19 and Vaccine Czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said the military and the police will help in securing the delivery of the vaccines.
Galvez earlier said the 117,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines produced by Pfizer will be the first to arrive and these will be delivered in one tranche.
It would be followed by the arrival of around 5.5 million to 9.29 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines to be delivered on the first and second quarter of this year, he added.
Galvez said many local government units, particularly in Metro Manila, have already conducted simulation of their vaccination drives.
To recall, Galvez earlier received a letter from Aurélia Nguyen, managing director of the WHO -led COVAX facility, officially informing the Philippine government that the country stands to receive a total of 9.407 million from the two pharmaceutical makers within the projected first and second quarters of 2021.
The government plans to use the vaccines under COVAX to inoculate the country’s healthcare workers, medical-related personnel, and other frontliners.
The regional review committees from the WHO, UNICEF, and Gavi [vaccine alliance] granted the Philippines two vaccine brands that have been “authorized or very close to being authorized by WHO through an Emergency Use Listing (EUL),” according to the letter.
Galvez said the delivery confirmation of the supplies for the succeeding quarters will be announced later.