13 million Pinoys to get COVID-19 vaccines from LGUs, private sector

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Some 13 million Filipinos are set to get COVID-19 vaccines from the private sector and local governments, an official said on Tuesday, as the Philippines eyed launching its inoculation drive against the respiratory disease next month.

The national government has allocated P75 billion to procure vaccines for 57 million people, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said quoting the Department of Finance.

Another 13 million Filipinos “will be covered by various LGUs and private sector vaccination efforts,” he told reporters in an online briefing.

“A total of 70 million Filipinos should be able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The planned rollout of our vaccines is good news that impacts not only the health of our people, but economy well-being of our country as well,” said Nograles.

He said this information came up during a meeting of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Cabinet on Monday.

The Philippines has secured vaccine supply deals with China’s SinoVAC for 25 million doses, and the Serum Institute of India for 30 million jabs.

Private firms have paid for 2.6 million vaccine doses from UK drugs group AstraZeneca, and more companies are set to sign a deal with the vaccine maker on Thursday. Several local government have also allotted funds or signed deals with the pharmaceutical firm.

With about 489,000 confirmed COVID-19 infections, the Philippines has the second-highest number of cases in Southeast Asia, after Indonesia.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Malacañang said on Tuesday.

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