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8月20日のまにら新聞から

Philippines sets aside P45b for booster shots in proposed 2021 budget

[ 356 words|2021.8.20|英字 (English) ]

The national government has allotted P45 billion for the acquisition of COVID-19 booster shots as part of the proposed budget for 2022.

"In the 2022 budget we have a budget entry for booster shots for all Filipinos. The amount allocated for booster shots is 45 billion pesos. This is for procurement of COVID- 19 vaccine booster shots included in the proposed 2022 budget," Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said on Thursday.

There is a debate in medical circles if booster shots are needed as experts require more scientific evidence. Health experts also point out that many Filipinos have not received their first dose of COVID-19.

"There will be no issue that by 2022 all of us will be given booster shots. Its already in the budget so there is no more issue on that to talk about," he added.

However, as the United States is set to start the distribution of booster shots next month, Roque expressed hope that this will not affect the availability of COVID-19 vaccines for other countries, like the Philippines.

"Like the WHO (World Health Organization) said, hopefully the rich countries would also think about the other countries like the Philippines and others which have not yet completed their first shots," he said.

Roque also noted that although the budget for booster shots is allocated for next year the government may do something to acquire it in advance if the need arises amid reports about the six months expiration of the efficacy of Sinovac vaccines.

"Now we started the vaccination last March and they (Sinovac recipients) received the 2nd shot on April. So if it is six months that will expire by October or thereabout so we will see. Because procurement will kick as early as January, we can acquire that earlier if we need to because it is in the national budget," he said.

"That is funded by multilateral agencies so let's see. If there is science that would require it, we will find a way. Like I said it is no longer a debate in the Philippines because we already have a budget for booster shots for 2022," he added. Robina Asido/DMS