President Rodrigo Roa Duterte welcomes newly-appointed Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Carlito Galvez Jr., as a new member of his cabinet prior to the 33rd Cabinet Meeting held at the Malacañan Palace on January 7, 2019. ROLANDO MAILO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Vaccine czar and National Task Force Covid-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. on Tuesday revealed that private companies have pledged to give the Philippine government more than one million doses of Covid-19 vaccines.

“Nagpapasalamat po tayo kay Enrique Razon na may binigay po siyang 300,000 doses. Ang BDO at tsaka ‘yong iba po, Lucio Tan group, San Miguel group at tsaka GoNegosyo. Nakapag-raise na po sila ng more than one million. Hopefully tataas pa po ‘yon ng up to two million doses,” Galvez said in a briefing with Cabinet officials and President Rodrigo Duterte.

A portion of the doses procured by the private companies would be administered to “poor essential workers,” he added.

Galvez said the country’s vaccine review panel has reviewed vaccines from 17 suppliers worldwide.

The country expects to have 30 to 50 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines by next year, he added.

Malacañang on Tuesday said that the country had secured a “firm commitment” from the US government as regards the Covid-19 vaccine supply, aside from the guarantee of vaccine supply from China and the United Kingdom.

American biotechnology company Moderna on Monday announced that the vaccine it was developing was 94.5-percent effective in clinical trials.

Last week, Pfizer, another American company, said its vaccine developed alongside BioNTech was “more than 90-percent effective” in preventing Covid-19.

Duterte earlier expressed concern that the country could struggle in the international vaccine supply and demand game.

“Americans have about 340 million, plus. And China has about 1.3 billion. So tatapusin muna iyan nila bago sila magbigay sa iba,” he said.

The country’s vaccination roadmap approved by Duterte would prioritize poor Filipinos, healthcare workers and state forces.

The Department of Health has recorded 410,718 Covid-19 cases in the country as of Nov. 17. John Ezekiel J. Hirro