Return to normalcy will likely happen in the Philippines by 2023, vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said Monday.
During a Senate hearing, Galvez said the rollout of the vaccine against COVID-19 in the country can start as early as the first quarter of 2021, but the bulk of the supply will be available in the latter part of the year.
“Following the guidance of the President, the vision of the Philippine vaccine roadmap is to save more lives, recover our economy and restore the normalcy in the lives of the Filipino people by 2023 through a sustainable immunization program,” Galvez's powerpoint presentation during the hearing showed.
“Our ultimate goal here is to protect the public and reduce mortality rates due to the pandemic,” he added.
Earlier, Galvez said the Philippines targets to vaccinate some 50 to 70 million Filipinos from COVID-19 this year.
The Philippines has already allocated P73.2 billion for the procurement of the vaccines, with P40 billion coming from multilateral agencies, P20 billion from domestic sources, and P13.2 billion from bilateral agreements.
Meanwhile, the private sector has committed to procuring as much as six million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from British pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca, half of which will be donated to the Philippine government.
Over the weekend, the Philippines has also inked the term sheet to secure 30 million doses of the Covovax vaccine to be manufactured by the Serum Institute of India.
The Philippines has so far recorded a total of 487,690 cases of COVID-19 including 458,198 recoveries and 1,906 fatalities.—AOL, GMA News