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DOH earmarks initial P2.4 billion for purchase of vaccine vs. COVID-19

The Department of Health has initially allocated P2.4 billion for the purchase of vaccine against COVID-19 under its proposed budget for 2021, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Monday.

“We allocated P2.4 billion for purchase of COVID-19 vaccine. We don’t know how much we can be able to procure, pero madadagdagan pa naman iyan (P2.4 billion),” Vergeire said.

“Iyan lang ang initial na sinet-aside natin,” Vergeire added.

Last July 31, President Rodrigo Duterte and Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez  III said that at least 40 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, mostly from China, will be available to the Philippines by December this year.

Vergeire said that while the institutions that DOH are working with have indeed offered COVID-19 vaccine for 20 million or 20% of the population, that can still change.

“The vaccine has two doses, that would be 40 million doses. We are still working with DOST, DFA and DOF [on the amount of vaccine we are purchasing], pero we had set aside money and this can be augmented once na dumating na ang vaccine at ang cost nito,” Vergeire added.

The Philippines has recorded 129,913 COVID-19 cases thus far. Of this number, 67,675 have recovered while 2,270 died.

The number of active COVID-19 cases is at 59,968. — RSJ, GMA News