Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Wednesday said the Covax facility would provide replacements for 3.6 million Covid-19 vaccine doses of the Philippines that had expired.

In a “Talk to People” address, Duque told President Rodrigo Duterte that the vaccines would be given free of charge.

“Papalitan po ‘yan. Ire-replace po ng Covax facility. Nag-meeting na po kami kahapon at mayroon na po silang sulat sa atin,” Duque told Duterte.

The vaccines to be replaced comprise 1.46 percent of the country’s total stockpiled vaccines.

Duterte’s adviser for entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion earlier said 27 million doses would expire in July.

Concepcion has made the proposal to require booster shots by June to utilize the vaccine jabs in stock and potentially fight new Covid-19 variants that might emerge.

The government aims to fully vaccinate 100 percent of the country’s target population by June. John Ezekiel J. Hirro