Carlito Galvez

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr. on Thursday announced that the Philippines would receive up to 40 million Covid-19 vaccine doses from the Covax global initiative.

“Ikinagagalak ko po na ibalita na ang atin pong Covax facility para sa Pilipinas ay naaprubahan na po. Sa loob po na posibilidad na makasiguro na mayroon tayong mga 30 – 40 million na doses for free para po sa lahat sa ating mga kababayan,” Galvez said in a Laging Handa briefing,

Covax is a global initiative coordinated by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and the World Health Organization (WHO).

It is a platform that supports the research, development and manufacturing of Covid-19 vaccine candidates. Covax seeks to provide countries worldwide equitable access to safe and effective vaccines, once they are licensed and approved.

Galvez did not specify the brand of vaccines to be given to the country but said Pfizer vaccines were expected to arrive first.

“Wala pa po tayong definite kung ano pong vaccine ang mauunang i-deploy; but most likely, iyong Pfizer. We are preparing for the Pfizer,” he said.

Covax’s vaccine portfolio for Covid-19 includes those manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen and Novovax.

The Philippine government has P73.2 billion allocated for vaccine procurement in its 2021 national budget.

Galvez earlier said at least 50,000 Filipinos were expected to be vaccinated by February this year. John Ezekiel J. Hirro