DOF secures funds for vaccines, PH needs 9-M dose weekly arrivals

The Department of Finance (DOF) assured that the Philippines has already secured the financing for, and ordered, enough doses of COVID-19 vaccines to inoculate qualified Filipinos by the end of the year stating the country needs 9 million doses weekly arrival to meet its target to complete its vaccination program for 100 million Filipinos by yearend.

As of Sept. 12, the vaccines financed and ordered by the national government totaled 121.13 million doses, while another 50.12 million doses are from donations by the Philippines’ bilateral partners, and from the country’s share in the COVAX.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said the 24.12 million doses procured by the local government units (LGUs) and the private sector round up the total of 195.37 million doses that the Philippines has secured to inoculate 100 million of its residents.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez

He said that to achieve the government’s target of completing its vaccination program for 100 million Filipinos by yearend, the country needs to receive about nine million doses per week, given that as of Sept. 5, the vaccines delivered already total 52.79 million doses.

Dominguez earlier reported to President Duterte that financing for the vaccines have been secured and the stocks ordered from the pharmaceutical companies.

“I just want to emphasize, Mr. President, this has already been ordered and .... there is already money set aside for this. What we are waiting for is the delivery,” Dominguez said during his recent meeting with President Duterte.

“Now, as I said, we need nine million a week. Unfortunately, for the first week of September we only received about 3.5 million. So we have to catch up for the coming weeks,” said Dominguez.

But Dominguez said he was assured by the National Task Force against COVID-19 (NTF) and testing czar that as soon as the vaccine deliveries arrive, they are transferred and administered as soon as possible to the vaccinees.

“So again, we want to tell our citizens that as soon as the vaccines arrive, they are actually deployed and people are inoculated. But again, the pharmaceutical companies had some difficulty in making the deliveries, Mr. President,” he added.

The NTF reported to the President that the government is expecting “much bigger volumes” of vaccines this month and in October of 61 million doses with a steady supply of Sinovac, Pfizer and the US-COVAX donations.

NTF also said the production issues of AstraZeneca, Moderna and the Sputnik vaccines “have already been resolved” by the negotiating team at the DOF led by Undersecretary Mark Dennis Joven,

Dominguez had also told senators that the financing and negotiations for the vaccines have already been completed and that the government is only waiting for the pharmaceutical companies “to step up to the plate” and deliver on their commitment.

Of the 52.79 million doses delivered so far, Dominguez said 17.12 million were donations from bilateral partners and from COVAX, 32.09 million were procured by the national government, while the LGUs and the private sector acquired 3.57 million doses.

“For the rest of September we are expecting a total of 37.58 million doses to be received. And from October to December of 2021 we are expecting a delivery of another 105.29 million doses for a grand total of 195 million doses of vaccines,” he told senators.