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Government signs procurement deal for 40 million doses of Pfizer coronavirus vaccine

A health worker prepares to administer a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at a nursing home in Szombathely, Hungary in this file photo. (Photographer: Akos Stiller / Bloomberg)

Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III and National Task Force Against Covid-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. signed a deal on Friday, May 14, 2021, for the procurement of 40 million doses of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine.

In a message to the BusinessMirror, Duque confirmed that he and Galvez have finalized the latest vaccine acquisition deal with Pfizer officials.

“Yes, [that is] correct,” Duque said when sought for confirmation.

Galvez, in an earlier pre-recorded message at a vaccination campaign event, said Duque is the other signatory representing the Philippine government.

He added that the national government is exerting all its efforts and is in talks with several manufacturers to ensure enough doses to vaccinate 70 million Filipinos before the end of 2021 to achieve herd immunity.

For his part, former DOH secretary Manuel Dayrit explained that “mass vaccination is expected to protect more Filipinos from severe and critical cases of Covid-19 and the goal of the government is to vaccinate 70 million Filipinos so the country can achieve herd immunity.”

“The commitment of the private hospitals and malls will help augment the vaccination administration of the local government units [LGUs] for their constituents,” he said.

Private sector vaccine procurement

In tripartite agreements with the national government, private businesses have procured vaccines for their employees, including their frontline and essential work force to resume operations safely.

The procurement is intended to augment the supply purchased by the national government and the vaccines secured from the Covax facility.

The private sector has also donated a significant portion of their procured vaccines to the government and has been fully supportive of the vaccination rollout for priority sectors led by medical frontliners, senior citizens, and persons with comorbidities.

“The private sector coalition that launched Taskforce T3 [Test, Trace, Treat]vowed to strengthen its ongoing collaboration with the national government to accelerate the pace of the national vaccination program. We thank the various private companies for their all out support and we look forward to the participation of more companies in the coming days  and months,” said Guillermo “Bill” Luz, Chief Resilience Officer of Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation, a member of T3.

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