LOADED with confidence that COVID-19 supplies would arrive as scheduled, Malacañang warded off apprehensions of an on-and-off vaccine roll out, even as a top Palace official claimed the government vaccination program won’t be hampered by supply issues.
In a statement, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that they are actually expecting uninterrupted delivery of the COVID-19 jabs other than donations coursed through the COVAX Facility adding that one million doses of the China made Sinovac vaccines will be arriving “soon.”
“Tuloy-tuloy na po iyan (bakunahan) dahil may inaasahan tayong isang milyon galing sa Sinovac, ito na po yung bibilhin natin. Ang ginagamit natin ay ‘yung donated lamang,” Roque confidently said.
Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. earlier hinted at buying one million doses of the Sinovac vaccine worth P700 million within the month, citing global shortage of other brands of COVID-19 vaccines. He added that only Sinovac and Russia’s Sputnik V are the only options left amid the limited supplies of the COVID-19 vaccines developed in the United States and Europe.
Aside from the paid vaccines that Galvez has mentioned, Roque said that delivery of the AstraZeneca vaccines from the COVAX Facility would arrive within the month. Over 500,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines were supposed to arrive last March 1.
“Yung sa COVAX Facility ay meron pa tayong 500,000 plus, sigurado po ‘yan na darating ng Marso,” the Palace spokesperson added.
“Kaya kampante ang gobyerno na tuloy-tuloy na ito (bakunahan) at sa lalong madaling panahon ay sana matapos po natin ang mga health workers, 3.4 milyon po yan at pagkatapos po sana ay meron na tayong makuha para sa seniors dahil yun na po ang susunod na target,” he further averred.
Aside from Sinovac, other COVID-19 vaccine brands granted emergency use authorization (EUA) by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration were Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca. An EUA is needed for a vaccine to be legally administered in the country.