MANILA — The Philippines remains confident it can achieve "population protection" before the end of 2021, according to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.
During a pre-State of the Nation Address (SONA) virtual presser on Wednesday, Nograles said the country can inoculate about 50 to 70 million individuals this year.
"We still remain confident that before the end of 2021, 50 million to 70 million Filipinos will have been inoculated already. By the third quarter of 2021, we would be approaching already 'yung population protection."
He attributed this to an expected surge in the delivery of vaccines starting this month.
"We're happy to report that this month of July, ito po 'yung buwan na may pinakamaraming vaccines na darating in any given month since these vaccines have been procured," Nograles explained.
Earlier this week, National Task Force Against COVID-19 and vaccination program chief Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. said the Philippines is set to take in about 16 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines this month.
Nograles said the country can expect to receive the same amount of doses in the coming months, as the bulk of orders from various manufacturers like Sinovac, Moderna, and Pfizer continue to come in.
As the country, continues to vaccinate more people, Nograles said the reopening of the economy will continue to have a "phase-by-phase" approach, with more sectors seen to resume their normal operations within the third quarter.
Moving forward, Budget and Management Secretary Wendel Avisado said they're also beginning to set aside funds to strengthen the country's capacity in developing its own vaccines.