Galvez: COVID-19 vaccination in the Philippines is likely to start in May 2021

Carlito Galvez Jr.

Galvez’ ranks are already compiling a national vaccine roadmap following his appointment as vaccine czar.

“Sa ngayon ang pinaka-importanteng ginagawa namin ay magkaroon tayo ng Philippine national vaccine roadmap. Bubuo tayo ng core group para maayos ang organisasyon from national to local government,” Galvez said in the Always Ready public briefing.

The roadmap is said to consist of seven stages and with Galvez it is formulated by some experts in vaccination, logistics, information, diplomacy and procurement.

The official also allegedly spoke to some staff of the Department of Health (DOH) regarding the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. As well as officials of the Department of Science and Technology for the clinical trial of vaccines.

“Nagkaroon na kami ng meeting kahapon ni Usec. (Maria Rosario Vergeire) at Usec. (Myrna) Cabotaje, na in-charge sa immunization program. Napakataas ng kanyang experience at ibinigay niya sa amin yung immunization plan ng DOH.”

According to Galvez, it is possible that the distribution of the vaccine will start in May 2021. But it still depends on the speed of development of the COVID-19 vaccine being studied today, and global demand.

“Ang best case scenario na magkaroon tayo ng clinical trials is first quarter, and then later just in case magkaroon ng mass production ay pwede tayo by the mid of 2021. But to be realistic kailangan tumingin tayo at the worst case scenario na before the end of 2021.”

Despite this, the vaccine czar has ensured that Filipinos will be given access when there is a COVID-19 vaccine in the country.

On Wednesday, Malacanang issued the Executive Order of President Rodrigo Duterte giving a price cap on the ongoing COVID-19 test.

DISTRIBUTION STRATEGY

Galvez, on the other hand, clarified amid fears that a military strategy could be used to distribute the vaccine.

In July, Duterte said he wanted the military to distribute selected vaccines for Filipinos.

“Ang gagawin natin ay tinatawag na ‘spokes and hub’ strategy dahil napaka-sensitibo ang cold chain storage at kailangan magkaroon ng magandang logistics plan,” said Galvez.

The official said he is aware of the sensitivity to the temperature of the vaccines, which is why they are preparing three portfolios for cold storage.

“The so-called 2 to 8 degrees. Add sub-zero negative 20 (degrees), negative 80 storages. ”

Galvez will work with other government agencies to ensure that the distribution of the vaccine is not politicized.

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