(File photo)

MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) has submitted a demand forecast of 34 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine to the COVAX Facility, which assured it would replace near-expiring jabs it donated and those procured by the national government and local government units and the private sector.

In a televised public briefing on Friday, National Vaccination Operations Center chief, Dr. Myrna Cabotaje, said the demand forecast submitted on May 4 is the estimation of the number of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines expected to be demanded by a country within a given period in the future.

Ito ‘yung parang pampalit, ‘yung nag-e-expire na at ‘yung pwede pa ma-expiran (This would be the replacement for expired and about to expire [Covid-19 vaccines], which includes brands such as Sinovac, AstraZeneca, and Pfizer,” she said.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III previously said COVAX would replenish only the near-expiry jabs donated by the facility.

“From the communication we received from COVAX, replacement for vaccine includes vaccines from all sources,” Cabotaje said. “So, hindi lamang po ‘yung galing sa kanila (not only the vaccines from them). They will also consider some vaccines that have been procured by the national government, even by the private sector and our local government.”

COVAX is a worldwide initiative aimed at equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines.

To date, the country has received 245,081,080 doses of Covid-19 vaccines.

Of the donated 86,532,040 doses, 73,916,210 doses or 85.42 percent were from COVAX.

As of May 26, a total of 150,123,168 doses of Covid-19 have been administered nationwide, with 14,040,380 as first booster shots for the entire eligible population and 204,309 as second booster shots for immunocompromised adults, senior citizens, and medical front-liners. (PNA)