Govt assures enough Covid vaccine supplies until year-end

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The Philippines has enough supply of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines for the rest of the year, National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 chief, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., said Friday.

Galvez made the assurance after some local government units (LGUs) have requested for the direct purchase of the jabs, instead of entering into a tripartite agreement with the national government.

The Certificate of Product Registration, authorizing direct distribution of the Covid-19 vaccines, may be available by next year.

“Our LGUs need to know that we have enough vaccines. They don’t need to buy more,” he said partly in Filipino in an interview at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1, noting that it is now more important to procure syringes as more vaccines are being delivered.

Galvez said manufacturers are more inclined to deal with the national government because it is more expeditious.

More than 32 million doses are in the country’s vaccine stockpile.

On Friday, 2.132 million doses of Moderna arrived, 1.384 million of which are government-procured and the remaining 747,860 purchased by the private sector.

Another 661,100 AstraZeneca jabs procured by the private sector were delivered on the same day.

The latest shipment brought the country’s total vaccines received to 84.212 million doses.

The government aims to hit the 100-million doses mark by the end of the month.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said over 187 million doses are arriving until the end of the year, enough to inoculate about 90 million Filipinos.

“We are really hoping, we are really wishing that 50 percent of the target population will be covered by end of the year. But of course, it’s just our intermediate goal. The goal is to vaccinate about 70 to 80, even about 90 million Filipinos,” said Duque, who joined Galvez in welcoming the shipment.

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