The health department lacks some P10 billion to buy coronavirus vaccines that would cover the inoculation of their target of 20 million Filipinos. So far, only P2.5 billion has been allocated for this purchase.
Health undersecretary Rosario Vergeire reported that the government will require an estimate of P12.1 billion to vaccinate priority groups, namely health workers and poor Filipinos, as per Pres. Duterte’s directive.
She added that the estimates also accounted for the likelihood that most of the vaccines on market will have two doses.
Duterte last week announced that he had gathered enough funds to buy vaccines, but more would be needed as the government plans to inoculate the country’s entire population, numbered at 113 million.
Vergeire said that the lawmakers have vowed to support the DOH in getting these additional funds. The agency is also eyeing getting loans from LandBank of the Philippines or the Development Bank of the Philippines.