Govt aims to vaccinate more Filipinos by August this year

Commuters brave the rain with face shields protecting their heads from the heavy rain due to Typhoon Ofel along Quezon Ave in Quezon City on Wednesday, Oct, 14, 2020. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

More Filipinos will be inoculated by August as the government expects steady deliveries of vaccines for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in the coming months, National Task Force (NTF) chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said on Thursday.

Galvez, also the country’s vaccine czar, said the government may start inoculating priority groups under categories A4 (other essential workers such as frontline uniformed personnel) and A5 (indigent population, overseas Filipino workers, and the other remaining workforce) by June.

And we might start vaccinating other targeted adult population or the general populace by August or September,” Galvez said a Palace press briefing partly in Filipino.

He said at least 10 million doses of vaccine are expected to arrive in June and “all the orders” will be delivered from July to December.

We can see that once we have already the full vaccination program, we can vaccinate 500,000 a day in our 5,000 vaccination sites with 100 each,” Galvez said.

He said the Philippines had secured about 140 million doses this year, excluding 44 million doses acquired through the COVAX facility.

Based on the latest NTF’s count, Galvez said about 1.809 million doses have been administered to priority groups under categories A1 (healthcare workers), A2 (senior citizens), and A3 (persons with comorbidities).

About 1.066 million healthcare workers, 240,221 senior citizens, and 256,866 persons with comorbidities have been vaccinated since the government’s vaccine rollout started on March 1.

Galvez said beginning August, the country is slated to receive a stable supply of around 15 to 20 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine from various pharmaceutical firms — Sinovac-Biotech, Gamaleya Research Institute, Moderna, Novavax, Johnson&Johnson, AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNtech and from the COVAX Facility.

He said the government will also conduct a symbolic vaccination in time of the observance of Labor Day on May 1.

Malacañang earlier said around 5,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been reserved for minimum wage earners and OFWs included in the A4 vaccination group in time for the observance of Labor Day.


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