Govt seeks shortened time interval between first and second Covid dose

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The National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 targets to “narrow down the gap” in the administration of doses between the first and second shots of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines as more jabs continue to arrive.

The NTF reported an increase in vaccination output for senior citizens (A2) and adults with comorbidities (A3) after the rollout of the single-shot Janssen vaccines on Wednesday.

There are now 1,863,955 elderly and 2,382,461 under the A3 priority group who are now fully protected against the disease.

The Department of Health said both sectors must be vaccinated as soon as possible as they are the most vulnerable to severe symptoms.

“There are more first doses deployed. There was a time when the first dose outnumbered the second dose by eight million,” the NTF said in a statement.

The National Vaccine Operations Center likewise reported that as of Tuesday, there were 131,686 administered with the first dose and 527,343 who have received the second dose.

“Our objective is to narrow down the gap between the first and second doses. This is a very good precedent in our vaccine rollout, especially now that our vaccine supply inventory continues to increase,” NTF chief Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. stated.

To date, the Philippines has received 31,360,700 doses from six pharmaceutical companies — AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, Sinovac, Gamaleya Research Institute, Moderna, and the single-shot Johnson & Johnson.

Over 27 million doses were already deployed across the country.

Set for delivery this week are 2.5 million doses of government-procured Sinovac vaccines, and 415,000 doses of AstraZeneca donated by the United Kingdom.

“We are praying for the continued arrival of vaccines in the country for us to sustain the high number of people being inoculated daily. We are on track in our target to pursue a better Christmas this year and hasten our exit from this pandemic,” Galvez said.

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