Experts are looking at 17 countries as possible sources of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine, Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr., National Policy against Covid-19 chief implementer, said on Tuesday night.
Galvez, also the country’s vaccine czar, said nine out of 17 evaluated potential vaccines are now on their third phase of trial.
“At sa Phase 3 trial pong ito, tatlo po doon ang magkakaroon po ng trial dito po sa atin (In this Phase 3 trial, three of them will be conducted here) this coming December and January,” Galvez said during President Rodrigo Duterte’s virtual public briefing.
“Tuloy-tuloy po ‘yung evaluation po ng ating vaccine of experts at saka ng FDA kung ano po ‘yung tamang solusyon ng pagkukuha ng vaccine (Our vaccine experts continuously conduct evaluation while the [Food and Drug Administration] is looking for the right solutions on vaccine acquisition),” Galvez added.
Galvez, meanwhile, thanked the private sector for raising monetary donations to be used for the procurement of more than one million doses of viable vaccine, once it is available.
He said the private sector vowed to provide free vaccination for “poor essential workers” as they continue to raise money to purchase more vaccines for underprivileged employees.
“Kung magkakaroon po tayo ng (if we could have) advance procurement [po ay] by the end of the year, puwede po nating magkaroon po tayo ng (we can start) signing of the loan agreements,” said Galvez.
The task force recommended entering into an “advance market commitment” through the multilateral arrangements made with the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), said Galvez.
The government has entered into various financing modes including the Private-Public Tripartite Agreement.
“So the private sector will finance it by buying directly to the vaccine company but with the regulation that the DOH (Department of Health) will be the one who will know, who will decide where the vaccine will be given,” Galvez explained.
“And then also, we are recommending the Emergency Use [Authorization] to be issued by FDA via a proposed EO as proposed by Secretary Duque, sir,” Galvez told the President.
Galvez said the government will do its best to acquire 30 to 50 million doses of vaccine by 2021.
“Pagka nag-roll out po ang ibang bansa (once they roll out in other countries), we can also have our rollout here,” he said.
Galvez said the government will prioritize medical and other healthcare front-liners, vulnerable sectors, marginalized individuals as well as the uniformed personnel and other servicemen, once the initial implementation of the vaccination program starts.
Meanwhile, Duterte ordered Galvez to include the families of soldiers in the provision of the Covid-19 vaccine.
“For as long as one is not vaccinated, there’s a contamination in the family. So if you give it to a soldier, give it to the entire family,” Duterte told Galvez.
However, Duterte said poor people should be the government’s top priority during the initial vaccination.
“Mauna ‘yung mga talagang kawawa sa buhay (prioritize the underprivileged). So they will be the first protected citizens of this country,” Duterte said. (PNA)