Carlito Galvez

The Philippines aims to purchase 25 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines from Chinese firm Sinovac Biotech, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said on Monday.

In a Palace briefing, Galvez said the country’s representatives had conveyed to the Chinese government its vaccine procurement plans for 2021.

“Iyong last meeting po namin [with the] Sinovac team from Hong Kong was last Friday and it was very substantial,” he said.

“Ang needs natin sabi namin is 25 million for 2021 for Sinovac only,” he added.

Malacañang last week said Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccines was the Philippines’ top choice for the national vaccination program set to launch in the first quarter of 2021.

Galvez said Sinovac’s representatives were “very confident” they will meet the Philippines’ inoculation demands by April next year.

“But we are negotiating that March will be our target,” he added.

Aside from the Philippines, China had also promised vaccine supply for other countries in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.

Philippine Ambassador to China Jose Santiago Santa Romana said China started “ramping up” its vaccine production to about 500 million doses within the next 12 months.

“The talks are going on, and so we hope that the talks can advance so that the procurement and deployment can happen,” he added. John Ezekiel J. Hirro