MANILA – Negotiations are underway for the procurement of more coronavirus vaccines for next year, the National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 said Friday.
Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said the NTF, local government units (LGUs), private sector, and provincial governors are preparing initial arrangements on additional vaccine purchase.
“Mayroon na kaming initial na arrangement nila (We already have an initial arrangement with) Sir Joey (Concepcion, the Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship) and also the LGUs, particularly kay (Quirino province) Gov. Daks (Cua) at saka ‘yung lahat ng (and all of the) provincial governors and League of Cities of the Philippines to look at the possibility of — we are ready to arrange the letter of intent for them to have an order their intention of how many volumes they would like to have,” Galvez said in an interview at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 in Parañaque City during the arrival of 502,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine procured by the private sector.
Galvez said they are now readying various paperwork for the initial planned purchase of 20 million for the private sector and national government.
Galvez was joined by AstraZeneca medical adviser Dr. Jen Feliciano and Go Negosyo: A Dose of Hope project head Josephine Romero at the airport.
Eighty percent of the latest shipment will be allocated to economic front-liners through LGUs while 20 percent will go to the private sector.
The government is set to receive the remaining 70 percent of total secured vaccines until December.
“Nakikita natin mga 70 percent ide-deliver pa. Mga more or less 140 [million] pa na ide-deliver ay magagawa natin within 2021 (We see that the 70 percent of supplies are arriving, with more or less 140 million doses will be delivered in 2021),” Galvez said.
He also announced the United States (US)-based Moderna company might increase their deliveries to the Philippines, while the COVAX Facility vowed to deliver the bulk of supplies.
With more vaccines pouring in, Galvez is optimistic the government will be able to breach its 25 to 30 million targeted deliveries within this month.
Private sector-LGU tie-up
Galvez lauded the private sector for relentlessly augmenting the LGUs’ needs.
“Despite the delays in delivery, the LGU and the private sector are working together. They have a very good relationship,” he said, partly in Filipino.
Romero said private sector-procured vaccines assured more economic front-liners will get their protection against the disease while at work.
“Lahat ng dumating ngayon is very good news kasi (All those delivered is very good news because) that means, more doses for the private sector,” she said. “We’d like to assure everybody that the private sector is collaborating very closely with the LGUs.”
Galvez assured the government is on track with its main goal of achieving population protection within this year.
Recalibrated vax deployment
The government has started implementing its recalibrated deployment strategy of Covid-19 jab that pushes a “more equitable distribution” of jabs in various provinces nationwide, Galvez said.
The approach allows the government “to strike a balance” among the number of unvaccinated individuals per region, targeted population for inoculation drive, and number of doses in the supply inventory.
“We have already started to employ a new strategy in supply allocation wherein the primary consideration is given to the number of unvaccinated individuals per region or local government unit,” Galvez said.
The crisis action plan to effectively contain and mitigate the highly transmissible Covid-19 variants includes restrategizing the allocation of vaccines to high-risk areas to reduce the number of fatalities and hospitalization.
To date, 53,294,130 doses of Covid-19 jabs have been delivered to the Philippines, of which 46,789,300 doses were deployed in 1,886 vaccination sites nationwide. (PNA)