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State vax drive will be sustained, Dominguez says



Inoculating the majority of the population will continue to be pushed, allowing the country to finally reach herd immunity against the dreaded COVID-19 virus, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said.

“We have enough received and in order to cover 100.83 million of our residents. (In terms of) donations, we have 49.64 million doses. (From) multilateral financing 105 million doses–the cost of which is $1.13 billion,” Dominguez told lawmakers during the Development Budget Coordination Committee’s virtual hearing on Wednesday.

“The source of the funds is from the national budget of $176.5 million, enough for 15.5 million doses and the private sector, we understand, has ordered 24.9 million doses,” he added.

In terms of delivery schedule, the Finance chief said that they have already received a total of 52.79 million doses as of 7 September 2021.

Bulk or 32.09 million of the overall stock were procured by the national government, while 17.12 million doses were donations and some 3.57 million came from the procurement of the private sector and local government units.

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

Still, the Finance chief said that the government remains short of the required supply in order to achieve their target of inoculating at least 70 percent of the population.

“What we need to inoculate everybody is nine million doses arriving a week. We have already ordered it. We have set aside the money for it. Now, it’s up to the pharmas to deliver,” he explained.

“So far, this first week of September, we are really short…basically nine million doses arriving a week is what we need. Last week, I think we only got 3.5 (million),” he added.

As such, the Cabinet official affirmed the possibility of a delayed achievement of the herd immunity by the end of the year, which might be pushed towards the first quarter 2022.

“That looks probable…We hope for the best and fortunately, we have been able to get a steady supply, particularly from Sinovac. They have come up with more than 50 percent of our deliveries,” Dominguez said.