By Junex Doronio
March 20, 2021
MANILA — Determined to get back to normalcy and recover the economy, retired military general and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said the government will conduct massive vaccination against the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) by May once the bulk of procured jabs from AstraZeneca and Moderna arrive in the country.
He noted that with only about 1.1 million Covid-19 shots so far, the government’s vaccination drive that started on March 1 has prioritized the country’s 1.7 million health workers.
“Most likely, the massive vaccination will happen this coming May once the orders from AstraZeneca and Moderna arrive,” Galvez said.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has tapped Galvez, a retired military general — instead of Health Secretary Francisco “Dingkoy” Duque III — to serve as chief implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) has called on the government to allow the private sector to import and buy Covid-19 vaccines directly from accredited sources without restrictions.
“We urge the government to allow the private sector to import vaccines without restrictions or conditions so we could move quickly and efficiently in vaccinating more people,” said PCCI President Benedicto V. Yujuico.
Galvez also disclosed that a total of 2,379,200 vaccine doses are expected to be delivered this March and 2.6 million doses of AstraZeneca in May.
He said the Philippines is also scheduled to receive five to eight million doses of vaccines by May, which include private sector-procured vaccines, some 200,00 doses of Moderna jabs, and two million doses of Sinovac’s CoronaVac.
Many people are wary of getting Sinovac jabs and prefer Moderna and even Russia’s Sputnik V. (AI/MTVN)