The government assured a sustainable and fully integrated vaccine deployment and immunization program to combat the prevailing pandemic, National Task Force Against Covid-19 and vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. said yesterday.
During a House committee hearing, Galvez said the government will adopt a whole-of-nation and whole-of-society approach in the rollout of the vaccination campaign.
This will be done through collaborative efforts with the local government units (LGUs) and the private sector, he said.
Through a tripartite agreement, Galvez said LGUs and the private sector will join hands to ensure equitable access to the vaccines.
Galvez said the government will prioritize “high-risk areas” during vaccine distribution.
He said the government will augment LGUs who cannot afford to procure vaccines on their own.
The government will shoulder the costs of the vaccines and other logistical supplies for LGUs that do not have enough funds for the inoculation of their residents, he added.
Meanwhile, Galvez announced that the World Health Organization together with pharmaceutical firm Johnson&Johnson will administer a solidarity clinical trial in the country.
The WHO will provide 15,000 doses of Johnson&Jonhson vaccine for trial, which will be conducted on February.
Galvez said the vaccine deployment will be done in a synchronized manner.
Galvez said Pfizer vaccines might arrive in the country by Feb. 20.
About 50,000 Sinovac vaccines will also be deployed as early as February, he added, while AstraZeneca and Novavax vaccines may arrive in March and April.
“And also the Moderna vaccine may come in May,” he added.
Galvez said some 2.5 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines procured by the private sector may also arrive by May.
“But the majority of the seven vaccine portfolio will come during the third quarter, early July and August,” he added.
Galvez said the country is now in the preparation phase before the initial rollout of the national immunization program.
“We have one month to prepare and our implementation phase might be February 20,” he said.
Galvez assured that the country has available cold chain facilities required for storing the Pfizer vaccine, which needs a negative 70°C storage temperature.
He said the government is now preparing the major hubs of cold chain facilities located in Metro Manila and in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, as well as Cebu and Davao.
The government, he added, has also entered a long-term partnership with the vaccine manufacturers through the supply agreement. Galvez noted that they already asked vaccine developers to accredit more cold chain facility providers in the country.*PNA