COVID-19 vaccines from China's Sinovac are likely to be the first to be distributed in the Philippines, the country's immunization czar said Wednesday as other nations start rolling out their own vaccination programs.
Vaccines produced by Sinovac could reach the Philippines in March if a contract between the Philippines and China is signed this December, COVID-19 vaccination czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said.
"Nakikita natin na yung Sinovac there’s more confidence kasi yung Brazil and also Indonesia has gotten some of those," Galvez said in an interview on ANC.
To allay fears over vaccines coming from China, where the first case of COVID-19 was reported in December last year, Galvez said he is "more than willing" to get jabbed with a Chinese vaccine.
Russia's Sputnik V vaccine could also come in the Philippines in the first quarter of 2021, he said.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III earlier said at a "best-case scenario," the country could roll out its COVID-19 immunization program in late March.
The Philippines is also expecting to get a hold of some three million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from British drugmaker AstraZeneca, paid for by the country's business leaders, by the second quarter of 2021.
Other vaccines from Western countries meanwhile such as the one developed by Pfizer and Moderna are expected to come in at a later date next year since nations that financed their development would be prioritized, Galvez said.