Philippines to spend P82.5B to buy 148 million COVID-19 vaccine doses

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 11 2021 12:02 PM

MANILA - The Philippines is set to spend P82.5 billion for the procurement of 148 million doses of COVID-19 from 7 pharmaceutical companies.

P70 billion will be sourced from foreign loans and grants, P10 billion will come from Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, while another P2.5 billion is lodged in the Department of Health's budget.

"All negotiations are very successful. We are now on the final stages of supply agreement," vaccine czar Carlito Galvez told lawmakers during the Senate Committee of the Whole investigation on COVID-19 vaccines.

"The reality is that more than 80 percent of global supply has already been procured by rich countries," he said

The government is eyeing to jab between 50 and 70 million Filipinos this year, he said.

"We are in the process of evaluating the vaccines and the current recommendation is not to vaccinate children under 16," WHO Representative to the Philippines Dr Rabindra Abeyasinghe said.

"It has not been tried out in children less than 16-years... There will be further research happening in the future on whether children will have to be vaccinated but as of now that is not clear," he said.

Pfizer and Covax are set to provide the country with 40 million COVID-19 vaccine doses each, Galvez said.

Novavax is expected to supply some 40 million doses, while AstraZeneca, Sinovac and Gamaleya are ready to sell 25 million doses each, he said.

"Ang Pfizer po hindi po bumitaw at binigyan po nila tayo ng ating kinakailangan," he said.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson earlier said that Pfizer has agreed to provide COVID-19 vaccines to the Philippines as early as January, but the deal did not push through after Health Sec. Francisco Duque III failed to sign some documentary requirements.

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