The Philippines is ready to begin its coronavirus inoculation drive by Feb. 15, Malacañang said on Monday.
In an online press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the first batch of the vaccines that will be coming from drugmakers Pfizer-BioNtech and AstraZeneca under the sealed agreement with the COVAX Facility would arrive in mid-February.
“Ang sabi po ng COVAX Facility sa kanilang liham (What the COVAX Facility told us in its letter is that), it will be made available, it will come to us by mid February. Kaya nga po ang sinasabi ko, handang-handa na po tayo by mid February or February 15 (That’s why I’m saying we are definitely prepared for [the vaccination drive] by mid February or February 15),” Roque said.
He said that while there is no definite date yet for the arrival of the vaccines, it would only take a day or two to start the vaccination program once the first batch arrives.
“It’s just a matter of when the plane carrying the Pfizer vaccines will actually land in NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport). Sa ngayon po wala pa pong exact date (There is no exact date yet [for the vaccines’ arrival]), but even now we are 100 percent ready to start the vaccination campaign,” he said.
According to National Policy Against Covid-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., some 117,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines produced by Pfizer pharmaceutical company will be the first to arrive and these will be delivered in one tranche.
It would be followed by the arrival of around 5,500,000 to 9,290,400 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines to be delivered on the first and second quarter of this year, he added.
Galvez said the government will strictly follow the regulation of the World Health Organization (WHO) in using the vaccines acquired from the COVAX Facility including the prioritization of healthcare workers, vulnerable sector, and indigent senior citizens in the country’s inoculation plan. (PNA)
Photo Credit: www.pcoo.gov.ph