MANILA, Philippines — The government has sufficient funds to ensure the COVID vaccination of the entire Filipino adult population and even teenagers, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said on Monday during the taped weekly briefing with President Rodrigo Duterte.
The government has about P85 billion to buy 140 million vaccine doses, which will cover 70 million adults, according to Dominguez.
“If we have to vaccinate children, 12 to 15 years old, we estimate that will cost another P20 billion, but we have enough reserves to cover that amount of money so we have enough,” Dominguez said.
The teenage population is around 15 million, according to him.
“Our money is enough to buy vaccines. We don’t have to worry, the money is here,” he added, speaking partly in Filipino.
The government has not started vaccinating teenagers since it’s still focused on vaccinating those in the first four priority groups — medical frontliners, senior citizen, persons with comorbidities, and essential workers.
Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of US-made Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines on those aged 12 to 15.
Government medical experts will also review the clinical trial data of Sinovac Biotech after China approved the emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine CoronaVac on younger children and adolescents.
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