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20 million Filipinos to get free COVID-19 vaccine — Finance chief Dominguez

At least 20 million Filipinos will be provided with COVID-19 vaccine for free, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said.

At a briefing in Malacañang Thursday night and aired Friday morning, Dominguez said the government is capable of financing P20 billion worth of COVID-19 vaccines which are expected to be ready by December this year.

“May three pharmaceutical companies na po sa China, one from Great Britain, one from the US na nasa advanced stage na. By around October, matatapos ang trials, so before December, most likely ma-aapprove ito ng Food and Drug Administration nila,” Dominguez said.

“When that happens, DOH ang mamimili ng tamang bakunang bibilhin. May financing na po kami. The vaccine will be free for 20 million people, $10 per dose, mga P20 billion po,” Dominguez added.

Dominguez said the vaccines will be purchased thru Philippine International Trading Corporation under the Department of Trade and Industry which will turnover the vaccine to DOH.

“Once this [purchase] is made, i-tuturnover sa DOH para magamit nila sa poorest of the poor, iyong lowest 20 million [income earners] in the country,” Dominguez said.

“DOH will put this in their budget, they will pay this P20 billion in two to three years, babayaran nila thru financing ng Landbank at DBP (Development Bank of the Philippines),” Dominguez said.

There are over 89, 000 COVID-19 cases, but only over 22,000 of those are active COVID-19 cases. This is largely due to the over 38,000 recoveries recorded in a single day per the Department of Health records, a surge due to the reclassification of mild and asymptomatic cases as recovered after 14 days. — RSJ, GMA News