The is aiming to vaccinate up to 50 million Filipinos for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) this year by increasing the number of people inoculated per day to as much as 300,000.
“We have a goal of inoculating about 50 million Filipinos this year and to achieve that target, we need to be, for the remainder of the year, especially when the bulk of the vaccines comes in, is roughly about anywhere between 250,000 and 300,000 plus per day to reach that goal,” National Task Force against Covid-19 deputy chief implementer Vince Dizon said in a television interview.
“I would maybe give our vaccine cluster a couple of more weeks, a couple of more months so that the bulk of our vaccines can start coming in and then we feel and we believe that we can hit that target,” he added.
During the Laging Handa briefing also on Wednesday, Dizon said the Covid-19 immunization program for the general public could start by the middle of this year.
“Our objective is by mid-year we’re done inoculating our health care workers and senior citizens. That’s in time with the arrival of Moderna and other vaccines, then we can start the vaccination for the general public,” Dizon said in Filipino.
He added that next to healthcare workers and senior citizens, the priority sectors for the Covid-19 vaccines are those with comorbidities, non-medical front-liners like police, economic front-liners including public transportation drivers and wet market vendors, and indigent population.
To date, the Philippines has received a total of 1.125 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines – 600,000 of Sinovac’s CoronaVac donated by the Chinese government and 525,600 AstraZeneca vaccines were from the COVAX Facility that arrived in two batches.
Dizon said they are hopeful to receive more than 2 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines this month.
Of the expected 2 million doses that will arrive this month, 1.4 million vials are from Sinovac – 400,000 are the additional donation from China and 1 million doses ordered by the Philippine government.
“The World Health Organization committed that the next tranches of AstraZeneca from COVAX Facility are going to arrive. So we hope to receive more than the 1.4 million Sinovac this March. Hopefully, we will reach more than 2 million this March,” Dizon said in Filipino.
Moreover, Dizon said the NTF will look into doing two to three shifts a day for vaccine administrators once the inoculation program for the general public will start to fast-track the rollout of Covid-19 immunization program.
He added the government will be able to reach its target of inoculating 50 million Filipinos by the end of 2021 as long as the significant amount of vaccine supply will arrive within the year.