COVID-19 vaccination may start by May 2021 – Galvez

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said Thursday that the government is hoping to start the COVID-19 vaccination in the country by May 2021.

“Ang prediction po ng DOST [Department of Science and Technology] if everything will go well, ang mangyayari po earliest is May,” he said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel concerning the government’s timeline for introducing vaccines against the respiratory disease.

(The prediction of DOST if everything will go well, the earliest for the inoculation is May.)

However, Galvez noted that the inoculation may be delayed until the end of 2021 if the vaccines will have supply and demand issues.

“Kung magkakaroon ng hindrances, in terms of sa supply and demand, ang pinaka-earliest po [for inoculation] is maybe the end of 2021,” Galvez said.

(If there were hindrances in terms of supply and demand, the earliest would be the end of 2021.)

Galvez also revealed that the government plans to purchase an initial batch of 24 million disease 2019 (COVID-19) once it becomes available next year.

COVID-19 vaccination may start by May 2021 – Galvez

Ang gusto po ng Presidente ay magkaroon ng ang lahat ng populasyon natin and many countries also dedicated twice as much the population of their countries. Iyon ang gusto ng presidente to be accessible to the poor so ang pinaka target natin initially ay 24 million [vaccines] for sa mga tinatawag nating indigents [and] for communities,” Galvez said.

(What the President wants is to procure vaccines for the entire population, and many countries are also dedicated twice as much as the population of their countries. This is what the President wants, for the to be accessible to the poor, so our target initially is 24 million vaccines for indigents and communities.)

Meanwhile, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire earlier said that the COVID-19 procurement process will not change just because Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. was appointed as “vaccine czar.”

“We will not rush. We know that this is urgent, but all of these [vaccines] will still undergo the regulatory process to make sure these are safe and would give the desired effect to our population,” she added.