The government is already crafting an Updated National Vaccination Program that will be approved by the secretary of health and top pandemic advisers aimed at linking it with the overall vaccine security plan, the country’s vaccine czar said on Wednesday.
In his report to President Rodrigo Duterte, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said the Updated National Vaccination Program, which will be approved by Secretary Francisco Duque III and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), will be anchored on the Vaccine Security Roadmap at least until 2022 and 2023.
“Kasi napakaimportante po nang gagawin po natin na ‘yun kasi that’s our continuity plan and exit strategy towards the pandemic,” said Galvez, who is also the chief implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID-19.
The government established the National Vaccination Operation Center and it has been organizing the Vaccination Operations for the fourth quarter of this year, according to Galvez.
The country’s top vaccine coordinator also said that with the increased volume of vaccine deliveries, the government has also ramped up its inoculation drive especially in the provinces by supplying local governments with more COVID-19 jabs.
For instance, almost a million doses of vaccines donated by the US through the COVAX facility arrived in Davao and Cebu, fast tracking the vaccination rollout in those areas, he said.
“Nakausap ko kanina po si Secretary Dino at nagpapasalamat po siya, Mr. President, na nadinig po ‘yung kanilang hiling na magkaroon po sila ng magandang bakunahan dahil kasi ngayon po mag-o-open na po sila talaga ng ano ng kanilang business doon sa Cebu,” Galvez said.
“Ganoon din po sa ano sa Davao, tuwang-tuwa rin po dahil kasi ‘yung parte ng Cotabato City at saka GenSan ‘yung Region XII at saka ‘yung Region XI, iyong ano ‘yung Cagayan de Oro and also ‘yung part ng ano ng Davao de Oro, Davao Occidental, Davao Oriental ay mabibigyan din po natin ng mga bakuna.”
The NTF COVID-19 chief implementer also said the Certificate of Analysis for the 7 million doses of Sinovac Biotech’s CoronaVac vaccine has arrived in the country, and will be simultaneously deployed together with the 2 million doses that arrived last weekend.
The government is still waiting for an additional 930,000 doses of CoronaVac and 800,000 of Pfizer vaccine under government procurement.
The arrival of more vaccines has breathed life into the government mass immunization drive as evidenced by increased vaccination rate, the vaccine czar said.
He reported that as of Wednesday, the government observed another record rate of 628,099 administered jabs.
“So dati po, nakaka-394 lang tayo; ngayon, tumaas po tayo ng 628,099. At nagpapasalamat po tayo kay Sec. Vince at saka po sa ating NVOC kay Usec. Myrna at saka po sa ating mga LGU dahil nakapag — tumalon po tayo nang malakas,” he told the President.
So far, the government has administered a total of 47.7 million vaccine doses, with 25.3 million individuals receiving the first dose and 22.4 million having the full dose.
“So kung makikita po natin, Sir Mayor, malapit na po tayong mag-30 percent doon sa 70 percent ng population na targeted po natin, at 20 percent na po tayo doon sa total population po natin,” Galvez noted.
Donations from the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility have also increased from 19 million doses to more than 21 million doses, he said, adding vaccines bought by the government are also upped by more or less 800,000 doses.
This week, another 3 million doses from Moderna will arrive in the country in addition to 2 million doses of CoronaVac. PND