PH secures another $800M for COVID-19 vaccines, boosters | Inquirer Business

PH secures another $800M for COVID-19 vaccines, boosters

/ 05:24 AM February 04, 2022

The national government has signed agreements for an additional $800 million in funds for booster shots against COVID-19 as well as vaccines for children age 5 to 11 years, according to the Department of Finance (DOF).

This means that there is enough funding to carry out the kids’ inoculation program, which starts on Feb. 7, Monday.

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Finance Undersecretary Mark Dennis Joven said in a statement the additional funding would augment the current kitty for pediatric vaccines, and would enable the government to provide a total of 30 million children’s doses from Pfizer Inc.

The American firm is currently the only manufacturer of a vaccine against the coronavirus disease that was found suitable for children.

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As of last Jan. 14, the DOF has raised a total of $22.55 billion in budgetary support financing in relation to its COVID-19 response from the Asian Development Bank, World Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Agence Française de Développement, Japan International Cooperation Agency and Korean Export-Import Bank–Economic Development Cooperation Fund as well as from foreign currency denominated global bonds. Further, the government has secured grants and loan financing amounting to a total of $3.25 billion, to support various projects to be implemented by agencies involved in COVID-19 response.

Joven, who heads the DOF’s International Finance Group, said that to date, 216 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for adults have already been delivered.

This volume is more than enough to fully vaccinate the entire adult population, he added. According to data from the Department of Health (DOH), 59.12 million Filipinos have already been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Feb. 1 this year.

This number includes both adults and minors age 12 to 17 years old. According to the Insurance Commission, payouts for COVID-19-related claims reached P12.12 billion since the pandemic started almost two years ago, with the amount paid in full-year 2020 already doubled in the first nine months of 2021.

Life and nonlife insurers firms, health-maintenance organizations and mutual benefit associations settled a total of P8.23 billion in claims from January to September last year.

This was already more than double the P3.89 billion that industry players paid in 2020.

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TAGS: boosters, COVID-19 vaccines, funds
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