Philippines targets P73.2B for COVID-19 vaccines for 60 million Filipinos
The Philippine government is eyeing P73.2-billion fund to purchase vaccines against coronavirus disease for 60 million Filipinos once the medicines are available, officials said on Monday night.
In a taped televised meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte in Davao City, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the government is planning to get the necessary funds from multilateral agencies, domestic sources, such as the government-owned or -controlled corporations, and bilateral sources.
He said the Duterte administration is targeting P40-billion loan from Asian Development Bank and World Bank; P20 billion from the Land Bank of the Philippines, Development Bank of the Philippines and other GOCCs; and P13.2 billion from bilateral sources "depending on the source of the vaccine, either England or US or whoever."
"The average cost of vaccine is around 25 dollars, not per dose, per person, which is P1,200 more or less. Some are lower, some are higher. So we don't know yet exactly how much is the cost...P73.2 billion is good for 60 million people to be vaccinated," Dominguez said.
Citing the World Health Organization's pronouncement, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, in the same meeting, said in order for the Philippines to prevent the spread of COVID-19, about 60-70 percent of the population should be vaccinated against the virus.
He said this should be the "herd immunity."
"If we're able to reach that, we're going to pretty much arrest the spread of this and COVID-19 will be eliminated in our society," he added.
With the WHO's estimated herd immunity, Domiguez said, "So, basically 60 million is okay and we have the funds for that."
The Philippine Statistics Authority has projected the Philippine population to have reached to at least 108.77 million by 2020.
National Task Force Against COVID-19 Chief Implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. said the government could secure 60 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines by next year from at least three pharmaceutical companies, namely AstraZenica, Sinovac and Pfizer.
"This means, we have good vaccines, which are safe, cost effective and the efficacy, their performance is good," he said in the same meeting. Celerina Monte/DMS