The Philippines has breached the six million mark of administered COVID-19 vaccine doses as a result of the government’s aggressive vaccination strategy against the coronavirus, the country’s vaccine czar said.
In his report to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Monday, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said among those inoculated were 1.3 million healthcare workers, 1.5 million senior citizens, 1.4 million individuals with comorbidities, and over 12,200 economic frontliners.
More than 1.5 million are now fully protected, having received two doses of COVID-19 jab, he noted.
Galvez, who is also the National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer, said that at present, the Philippines is administering more than 200,000 vaccine doses daily.
While the rest of the country’s adult population are being inoculated, Galvez said pediatric vaccination may not be far from sight, citing ongoing studies or approvals of vaccine brands Sinovac, Pfizer, and Moderna aimed at inoculating ages 3 to 17, 12 to 15, and 12 to 17 years old, respectively.
Eleven other vaccine brands have ongoing clinical trials for pediatric use as well, he noted.
According to Galvez, immunizing the country’s younger population, which is around 29 million, will pave the way for the reopening of face-to-face classes.
Meanwhile, the government’s massive vaccination will continue unhampered with expected vaccine deliveries in the coming months, the vaccine czar said, noting the country expects to receive one million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from China’s Sinovac on June 10, one million doses on June 17, and 2.5 million doses by the end of the month.
The country is also negotiating with Russia’s Gamaleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology to ensure the delivery of 100,000 doses of the Sputnik-V vaccine on June 9, Galvez noted.
The World Health Organization-led COVAX facility, on the other hand, will donate two million doses of Pfizer vaccine on June 10, 250,000 doses of Moderna jabs on June 21, and two million doses of AstraZeneca on the third week of June.
There will be a steady supply of vaccines throughout July, Galvez said, with the expected delivery of 4.5 million doses from Sinovac, additional one million from Moderna, one million doses from AstraZeneca, and another 4.5 million doses from Sinovac to be delivered on July 21.
Once negotiations with vaccine manufacturers and the COVAX facility are successful, Galvez said he is optimistic that Philippines will receive around 17 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines this August and an unhampered supply in the next quarter. PND