The government is confident the Philippines will achieve hard immunity versus the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) by year-end.
This was the assurance given by National Task Force against Covid-19 Chief Implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr, to members of the private sector, multilateral partners, and foreign dignitaries during the Vaccine Summit: Equitable Distribution and Safety on April 30.
“As we continue to recalibrate our vaccination strategy due to supply constraints and the ongoing surge in Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) cases, we are confident that the country will be able to achieve herd containment within this year, with the inoculation of 50 to 70 million Filipinos,” Galvez said.
According to the vaccine czar, the country has so far secured 148 million anti-Covid-19 doses from seven manufacturers. The vaccines are scheduled to be delivered within the year wherein the bulk of the supply is expected to arrive by midyear.
Galvez shared that while the simultaneous vaccination of priority groups A1 (healthcare workers), A2 (senior citizens), and A3 (persons with comorbidities) is ongoing, preparations are underway for the vaccination of priority groups A4 and A5, which cover economic and government frontliners as well as the indigent population.
As of April 29, more than 1.8 million Filipinos have been vaccinated. With the recent delivery of 500,000 Sinovac vaccine doses, the government expects to hit the 2 million mark in its vaccination program.
Discussions during the summit focused on the importation and distribution strategy for Covid-19 vaccines in the country.
The gathering also highlighted the strong partnership between national government, local governments, and the private sector in the acquisition and rollout of the vaccines.
The virtual event was organized by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).