Vaccine czar and National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. said Monday that the bulk of COVID-19 vaccines would be available by the end of 2021 to early 2022.
He said that the preparation for the COVID-19 vaccination implementation could take at least six months. He added the supply is a challenge since richer countries could get access to the vaccines first.
“Ang best-case po natin, Mayo o Hulyo , ay may available na vaccine na po [tayo] thru COVAX and bilateral arrangement natin,” Galvez said in an online briefing.
“But realistically speaking, baka po end of the year  or 2022 darating ang main bulk ng vaccine…iyan po ang nakikita natin kasi meron po tayong kakulangan sa suppy kasi iyong mayayamang countries, kinuha na po ang majority ng production,” Galvez added.
The COVAX vaccine facility estimates that the COVID-19 vaccines would cost at least $21 for two doses to be given with a 28-day interval. COVAX is a global collaboration of manufacturers and experts which seeks to accelerate the development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines.
Galvez earlier said that according to the government’s seven-point COVID-19 immunization plan, evaluation and acquisition of a possible vaccine must be complete by the end of 2020. However, the clinical trials in the country are not expected to be conducted till December.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the government was studying two mechanisms concerning vaccine purchases. One is through clinical trials and the other through direct procurement with the vaccine manufacturer.
Meanwhile, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said COVID-19 vaccines would be available to the public in the first months of 2021.
The clinical trial of selected individuals in the country will begin in December 2020 after the World Health Organization postponed the solidarity vaccine trial in the Philippines for a month.
Two pharmaceutical companies have bilateral collaboration with the Philippine government — China’s Sinovac and Russia’s Gamaleya.
Twelve hospitals in Metro Manila, Calabarzon, Cebu, and Davao have been identified for trial use.
Sinovac is interested in giving the vaccine to seniors.