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Mass vaccination of Filipinos seen to start by June-July 2021, DOST exec says

The mass vaccination of millions of Filipino is projected to start by either June or July next year, an official of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said Monday.

At a public briefing on Monday, Philippine Council for Health Research Development executive director Dr. Jaime Montoya said the government continues to coordinate with the suppliers of vaccines.

“Kung ang ibig ninyong sabihin ng mass vaccination ay million ang bibigyan ng bakuna, ang atin pong estimate dito ay sa second quarter pa rin po next year. So either po June or July,” Montoya said.

“Pero patuloy po ang negosasyon natin sa mga supplier ng bakuna, na kung sila magiging successful, sana po ay mas mapaaga ‘yung availability ng bakuna,” he added.

On Friday, the Philippine government, the private sector, and manufacturer AstraZeneca signed a tripartite agreement for access to COVID-19 vaccines.

Under the country's first supply deal for COVID-19 vaccines, the Philippines secured 2.6 million shots of a potential COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. earlier said more than 35 million Filipinos will be prioritized to receive vaccines against COVID-19.

As a strategy, Galvez said the vaccination will start in areas that are severely affected by the pandemic as well as those considered as business centers so the country will immediately feel its effect.

Areas with more than 3,000 active cases of COVID-19 will be considered priority.

The vaccination will proceed to accommodate the priority sectors such as healthcare workers, police, soldiers, and other essential workers in the government and business sector.

Aside from them, poor communities will also be prioritized.

Galvez said  the government is planning to administer the COVID vaccine to 20 million up to 30 million Filipinos annually in three to five years.

He said the government targets to vaccinate 60 to 70 million out of the over 100 million Filipinos. — RSJ, GMA News