60 million people targeted for vaccinations next year

OFFICIALS say about 60 million Filipinos are being targeted for Covid-19 vaccinations next year at a cost of more than 73 billion pesos (RM5.72bil) to develop considerable immunity among the majority.

Carlito Galvez Jr, who oversees government efforts to secure the vaccines, said negotiations were underway with four Western and Chinese pharmaceutical companies, including US-based Pfizer Inc. and China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd., to secure the vaccines early next year.

One company based in the UK, AstraZeneca, can commit to supply up to 20 million vaccines, he said.

“We will target the most vulnerable and the poorest communities in affected areas, ” Galvez said, addressing who would be prioritised for vaccination.

President Rodrigo Duterte said he wanted police and military personnel to be prioritised for their many sacrifices, including in disaster response work.

“I need healthy military and police because if they all get sick there’s nobody I can rely on, ” he said.

The Philippines has seen over 420,000 confirmed cases, the second-most in South-East Asia behind Indonesia, and 8,173 deaths. — AP

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