MANILA - The Philippines has enough funds to inoculate 100 percent of adults this year but it may need another allocation for the vaccination of children aged 12 years old and above, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez has said.
An additional P25 billion is needed to inoculate children aged 12 and above and possibly for booster shots for those previously vaccinated, and this should be included in the proposed 2022 national budget, the Department of Finance said in a statement over the weekend.
The allotted budget can cover the entire adult population and teenagers or 85 million Filipinos, Dominguez said.
Dominguez said the government is also preparing for the purchase of booster shots which could roughly cost P60 billion.
“Tamang-tama, sapat po ‘yong ano, ‘yong pera natin para sa vaccination. (Our fund is enough for vaccination). So we don’t have to worry. The money is there and we will certainly be able to vaccinate the entire adult population plus the teenagers," he said.
“There is a second horizon we have to look at, however. We might need an allocation of about 25 billion pesos to cover the inoculation of children aged 12 years old and above...The proposal is to include such supplemental amounts in the 2022 budget,” he said during a Senate committee of the whole hearing on the vaccination program.
The Philippines is also assured of at least 149.83 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines delivered this year backed by foreign loans, regular budget and donations, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez has said.
The DOF said it has secured financing from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), World Bank (WB), and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) for vaccines.
The Philippines can inoculate 50 to 70 million of its citizens against COVID-19 by the end of the year if vaccine supplies arrive on time, vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr said in February.
The government is targeting to fully vaccinate 58 million Filipinos this year to achieve "population protection", down from an earlier target of 70 million to achieve herd immunity.
ABS-CBN News has been tracking the pace of vaccination rollout, and as of June 18, only 2,096,901 individuals have been fully vaccinated, representing just 3.62 percent of the target after more than 3 months.