MANILA – Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo on Sunday expressed optimism that the arrival of more Covid-19 vaccine doses “will come to pass.”
In his online commentary show “Counterpoint”, Panelo made this statement as he appealed to the public to wait for the bulk of Covid-19 vaccines to arrive in the country amid global supply issues.
“Yan pong mga bakunang ‘yan siguradong makakarating din pagdating ng nakatakdang panahon (Those vaccines will surely arrive in due time),” he said.
Panelo also hoped that the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) would return to pre-pandemic levels after most of the country’s population would have gotten vaccinated.
“Makakabalik na muli tayo sa ating malusog na ekonomiya at yung mga dati nating ginagawa ay magagawa na muli natin (We will eventually return to our healthy economy and we will soon be able to do what we used to do),” he added.
He, however, reminded the public to continue observing quarantine protocols such as wearing of face masks, face shields, hand-washing, and physical distancing even after getting vaccinated.
The Philippines aims to secure 148 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines from several companies to inoculate an initial 50 to 70 million Filipinos this year.
On March 29, President Rodrigo Duterte welcomed the arrival of 1 million doses of the “CoronaVac” Covid-19 vaccine purchased by the government from Chinese drugmaker Sinovac Biotech.
A total of PHP700-million was spent by the government for the purchase of the 1 million doses of CoronaVac.
In total, the government intends to buy 25 million doses of CoronaVac.
The previous two shipments of CoronaVac, totaling 1 million doses, had been donations from the Chinese government.
This arrival of CoronaVac doses purchased by government brings the total number of vaccine doses in the country to over 2.5 million.
To date, the country has received 525,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines through the World Health Organization-led COVAX Facility.
The Philippines is expected to receive a total of 44 million vaccine doses through the COVAX Facility within the year.
The bulk of vaccine doses are expected to arrive by the second quarter of the year.
The government aims to inoculate 50 million to 70 million Filipinos nationwide, but it is not making inoculation against Covid-19 mandatory. (PNA)