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Galvez: 50,000 Filipinos will get COVID-19 vaccine by February

At least 50,000 Filipinos are expected to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by February this year, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr. said Monday.

Galvez made the announcement in response to the questioning of Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto on the timeline of the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program.

“Mga 50,000 po ang expected. Most likely po healthcare workers in the NCR (National Capital Region),” he said in response to the question on how many Filipinos can be inoculated with a COVID-19 vaccine next month.

Recto posed the question since Galvez said that the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines is due to arrive on February 20.

“By April po, ang mababakunahan mga two million,” Galvez added.

Pressed what is the best case scenario for entire 2021, Galvez said that around 70 million of Filipino can receive a COVID-19 vaccine for this year if there will be enough vaccine supply.

Galvez earlier said that COVID-19 vaccines requiring ultra low freezer storage will be deployed in Metro Manila, as well Cebu and Davao since these cities have pharmaceutical companies with such equipment.

Vaccines needing 2 to 8 degrees Celsius, on the other hand, will be used in suburban and rural areas.

“This is for easier monitoring rin po, including the possible side effects,” Galvez said.

COVID-19 vaccines which have been proven at least 90% effective after human trials include that of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca. All of those three are given in two doses, three weeks to a month apart.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said members of the Presidential Security Group were already given COVID-19 vaccine developed by Sinopharm in September and October 2020, even if pharmaceutical firm is yet to secure approval of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The Philippines has recorded 487,690 COVID-19 cases so far. Of this number, 458,198 recovered while 9,405 died.

The total number of active COVID-19 cases is 20,087.—AOL, GMA News