MANILA, Nov 25 (Mabuhay)– The Philippine government is planning to administer COVID-19 vaccines to 20 up to 30 million Filipinos yearly within five years, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said.
In a public briefing on Wednesday, Galvez said the government targets to vaccinate 60 million to 70 million Filipinos in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We will do this in a three to five years period kasi po kaya lang natin mapa-vaccinate is more or less 20 to 30 million a year,” Galvez said.
“At the same time, titingnan po natin talaga rin na kung alin po ang safe at effective na vaccine,” he added.
For the best case scenario, Galvez said the mass vaccination will be launched either by the second quarter of 2021 or by the middle of 2021.
“Though, meron tayong clinical trial this coming December. Inaasahan po natin ‘yung mga result kasi ng regulatory board natin sa Food and Drug Administration baka matapos po ‘yun first quarter,’” he added.
For the worst case scenario, he added that the mass vaccination will start by the end of 2021 or early 2022.
Galvez earlier said that the government is eyeing to secure COVID vaccine supply deals from manufacturers in China, United Kingdom and the United States” within the month.
While the price of the vaccine procurement cannot be disclosed at this point due to confidentiality disclosure agreement, he said the country will be assured of 30 to 50 million vaccine supplies.
Philippine Foundation for Vaccination (PFV) director Dr. Lulu Bravo said if the vaccination requires two doses, the supply can only cover 25 million out of the over 100 million Filipinos.
According to her, the 50 million supplies are not enough to achieve herd immunity as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Kung two doses ‘yun, tapos ang mabibigyan mo lang is 25 million, one-fourth ng ating population, hindi pa ‘yun herd immunity, kasi sabi mo nga 60 to 70 percent,” she added.
WHO experts said the vaccination of 65% to 70% of a population can reach herd immunity.
According to WHO, herd immunity or population immunity is a concept used for vaccination in which a population can be protected from a certain virus if a threshold of vaccination is reached. (MNS)