VACCINE czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said the Philippines will sign on Friday, November 27, 2020, a tripartite agreement for the procurement of two million doses of the vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and British pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Under this tripartite agreement, Galvez said during the Malacañang press briefing on Thursday, November 26, that the private sector will procure the vaccines from AstraZeneca and donate these to the government.
Galvez said earlier that businessman Enrique Razon and big businesses like San Miguel Corporation and Lucio Tan Group have committed to make vaccine donations to the government.
The government targets to immunize 25 million to 30 million Filipinos a year, Galvez said.
He said the immunization program will be implemented over three years, targeting 60 to 75 million Filipinos, or 60 to 75 percent of the Philippine population, to achieve herd immunity against Covid-19.
The World Health Organization has said that herd immunity against Covid-19 would be achieved if 60 to 70 percent of a population are immunized.
Galvez repeated that, in a best case scenario, the vaccines would be available between May and July in 2021.
Meanwhile, he assured that the immunization program will not be tainted by politics in light of the upcoming elections in May 2022.
“Ang ating roadmap, sinasabi ko nga po, three to five years ang tinatawag na vaccine roadmap. It’s beyond political color,” he said.
In a report to President Rodrigo Duterte earlier this week, Galvez said negotiations were also being conducted with Sinovac Biotech from China and Pfizer.
Up to 60 million doses may be procured from AstraZeneca, Sinovac and Pfizer in 2021, he said.
The AstraZeneca vaccine is priced at $5 per dose the lowest among the vaccine candidates. Each person will need one-and-a-half doses to achieve an efficacy of 90 percent.
The Department of Finance is raising P73.2 billion to finance the immunization program from three sources - multilateral agencies ADB and World Bank, government banks and government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCC), and bilateral financing. (Marites Villamor-Ilano/SunStar Philippines)