DOST: Philippines reserves 3M vaccines worth P1.5 bil

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MANILA – Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato dela Peña has confirmed on Tuesday that the country has commited to reserve 3M vaccines worth P1.5B via the Gavi COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) facility.

During the press briefing, the country has reserved vaccine volume equivalent to a minimum of 3% of the population and additional 20% will be acquired once the vaccine becomes available.

Dela Peña said that the assumption of one dose per person is the requirement of joining COVAX. Most vaccines for diseases require two doses. One vaccine dose cost around Php 500.

Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III said that at least 60% of the population must received vaccination in order to achieve “herd immunity”.

The government will shoulder the cost of free vaccination for those living under poverty level.

Dela Pena the country are also looking to purchase vaccines available outside COVAX. The country has five on-going collaboration with institutions permitted by the sub-technical working group of the (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases. The government is also not closing its door for other bilateral partners such as Russia who made significant progess on its vaccines as long as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug.

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