The Philippines will start their coronavirus disease vaccinations on February 15. The Government aims to first vaccinate the frontline healthcare workers as part of the plan to inoculate 1.4 million individuals in one month.
An initial batch of 117,000 doses of Pfizers-BioNTech will cover the workers included in the master list from hospitals across the country. They will receive the first batch of vaccinations, according to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr.
"Inaasahang nating magsisimula na tayo sa akinse...Sa katunayan, 'yung mga medical frontliner, kumpleto na po ang pangalan nila," said Roque.
The Philippine General Hospital is among the first hospitals that will receive the vaccines with 5,000 workers listed. Along with the Dr, Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital, and the East Avenue Medical Center.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a total of 117,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine will arrive in the country in the second or third week of February under the COVAX Facility.
On the other hand, vaccines manufactured by AstraZeneca are expected to arrive in the latter part of the month or early March, with about 5.5 million to 9.2 dosses.
"Inaasahan natin na lahat nung nasa paunang frontliners natin na humigit kumulang 1.4 million, hindi aabot ng isang buwan para matapos natin lahat ng medical frontliners," Roque said.
This year, the Philippines plans to vaccinate about 50 to 70 million Filipinos. It has an allotted budget of P73.2 billion, this includes the P40 billion from the multilateral agencies, P20 billion from domestic sources, and P13.2 billion from bilateral agreements.
As of now, the Pfizer-BioNtech and AstraZeneca are the only vaccines that are secured by the Emergency Use Authority (EUA) in the Philippines.
In addition, the Department of Energy (DOE), assured that there is enough electricity to supply for the storage of said vaccines, which they need ultra-cold freezers amid the upcoming summer season.
"Tataas 'yung demand, pero sapat ang supply kasi natin. Unang una, sa ngayon pumapatak ng lampas 30% 'yung sobrang power o reserba," DOE spokesperson Felix William Fuentebella said in the same report.