Indigent Filipinos will soon be prioritized for the Pfizer vaccine after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte ordered that the said vaccine brand be given to the country’s indigent population, in accordance with the COVAX Facility prioritization for vaccines, said Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr. in a press briefing on May 20, 2021.
The Palace official said that the President has also instructed to make the Pfizer vaccines available in vaccination sites in barangays where vaccine take-up is low, in line with the Chief Executive’s earlier directive to provide safe and effective vaccines for all Filipinos.
Secretary Roque added that President Duterte had seen photos of the long queues for the Pfizer vaccine wherein social distancing was not observed. “Napansin ng Pangulo na naging pihikan ang ating mga kababayan pagdating sa vaccine brand. Kaya nanawagan po tayo na huwag tayong mamili ng brand ng bakuna,” said Secretary Roque.
Roque reiterated that all available vaccines are safe and efficacious. “Ang pinakaligtas na bakuna ay ang bakunang nasa inyong braso—anumang brand po iyan,” Sec. Roque remarked.
The Cabinet official further underscored that these vaccines have undergone rigorous evaluation by experts. “Hindi lamang po iyan dumaan sa proseso sa Pilipinas, dumaan din yan sa proseso abroad dahil mayroon din pong WHO emergency use list na halos lahat naman po ng ginagamit natin ay dumaan din doon sa proseso ng WHO,” Roque said.
Roque, who is also the spokesperson of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), also announced the arrival of 500,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines from China this morning, May 20. Roque said that this is the last tranche of Sinovac vaccines for the month of May.
The Palace spokesperson said that there are now 4,253,450 vaccine doses that have been delivered this month, 30,000 doses of which are from Sputnik V, two million doses from Sinovac, 2,030,400 doses from AstraZeneca, and 193,050 doses from Pfizer.
Roque also mentioned that some 2.2 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 1.3 million doses of Sputnik V vaccines are expected this May.
“Kung susumahin ang doses na inaasahang ma-i-deliver sa atin sa buwan ng Mayo ay nasa mahigit pitong milyon, or 7,753,450 doses na po ang ating inaasahan,” said Roque.
The expected number of total vaccine doses for the month of May, Roque pointed out, is almost double the number of doses that were delivered in the past months since the country’s vaccination program started.
In the same press briefing, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairperson Benjamin Abalos Jr. advised the public to pre-register with their respective local government unit (LGU) before proceeding to a vaccination site for an orderly vaccination process. Abalos also assured that the Metro Manila LGUs are up to the challenge and can cope with the increasing number of vaccine doses that are coming in the country.
Meanwhile, Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) National President and Quirino Governor Dakila Carlo Cua also urged the public not to be brand conscious as all vaccines available in the country now have been evaluated to be safe and effective. Cua assured that the LGUs are strictly implementing the vaccine rollout and will continue to support the national government in the vaccination program. ### OPS-PCOO