With the expected arrival of more vaccine doses in the coming weeks, Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr asked the public to get vaccinated, as the vaccination of Priority Group A4 or the economic frontliners is set to start in June.
“Tayo po’y maging parte ng solusyon. Tara na po at magpabakuna – para sa iyo, para sa inyong pamilya, para sa inyong komunidad. Balik buhay sa bakuna,” said Secretary Roque in a press briefing on May 31, 2021.
In the said press briefing, the Palace spokesperson presented details on the expanded A4 priority list that was approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), which now includes workers in the private sector who need to physically report to work outside of their residences, government workers including those under government-owned and controlled corporations, and local government workers.
Also included in the A4 priority group are informal sector workers and those who are self-employed who need to work outside of their homes, as well as those who are working in private households, said Sec. Roque.
Citing data from the National Economic and Development Authority, the Cabinet official said that some 35.5 million workers will be vaccinated under the A4 group. Of this number, Roque said that 13 million are in the National Capital Region (NCR) plus eight provinces, with the remaining 22.5 million workers to be subsequently included from the remaining areas of the country.
“Uulitin natin: ang pinakamabisang bakuna ay ang available na bakuna. Ligtas at epektibo ang mga bakuna dahil ang mga ito ay nabigyan ng Emergency Use Authorization or EUA hindi lang po ng FDA ng Pilipinas kung hindi ng iba’t iba pang mga bansa sa daigdig, kasama na po ang WHO,” underscored Sec. Roque.
The concurrent IATF spokesperson also affirmed in the press briefing the arrival of an additional 50,000 doses of Sputnik V vaccines last night, May 30, 2021. With the said delivery, Roque said that there are now 80,000 doses of Sputnik V that were delivered from Russia, including the first 30,000 doses received on May 1 and May 12.
“Ang latest vaccine naman na ito ay i-de-deploy sa mga tinatawag na centers of gravity o mga lugar sa buong bansa na nakakaranas ng COVID-19 surge,” Roque said.
Roque also announced the expected arrival dates of some vaccines including one million doses of Sinovac on June 6, 1.3 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine on June 7 plus 900,000 more of the same brand on June 11, and 200,000 doses of Moderna vaccines on June 21.
The IATF spokesperson also clarified the issue that 90 percent of vaccines will go only to NCR, saying that no such decision came from the IATF. “Ang decision po ng IATF at most ay 38 percent to 42 percent ang ibibigay sa Metro Manila plus 8, at napakalaking lugar po iyon, at iyong balance, majority ay iikot pa rin sa iba’t ibang parte ng Pilipinas, syempre kasama na iyong mga lugar na tumataas ang COVID-19,” Roque said.
Also in the same press briefing, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairperson Benjamin Abalos Jr said that as of date, no vaccine has expired in any of the local government units (LGUs) and that vaccine deployment in LGUs is calculated in a way that vaccination is efficient and without wastage.
Chair Abalos also assured that LGU officials, doctors, and nurses are ready and able to handle all vaccines that come to them for the inoculation of the public. Abalos also mentioned the many innovations of LGUs to encourage the public to get vaccinated, including going house-to-house to register individuals or for the actual vaccination.
Meanwhile, Philippine Ambassador to the United States (US) Jose Manuel Romualdez said that the US is set to announce this week the distribution of 80 million vaccines for donation for countries all over the world. Ambassador Romualdez disclosed that the Philippines will be included in the first batch of countries that will receive the donated vaccines.
On the interest of some American pharmaceutical companies to do a joint venture with some private Philippine companies for setting up vaccine manufacturing plants in the country, Romualdez said that while all are still in the planning stage, they are pushing for its completion as part of the economic promotion for the Philippines. ### OPS-PCOO