PH gets delivery of 1 million doses of Pfizer Covid vaccines

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FILE PHOTO: Vials with a sticker reading, "COVID-19 / Coronavirus vaccine / Injection only" and a medical syringe are seen in front of a displayed Pfizer logo in this illustration taken October 31, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

The Philippines on Wednesday received a shipment of more than one million doses of US-made Pfizer vaccine procured by the national government, with another 728,910 doses more expected to be delivered on Thursday (September 23) night.

National Task Force Against Covid-19 medical adviser Dr. Teodoro Herbosa said the latest delivery of the life-saving shots would be distributed to local government units that have the capability to store vaccines that require ultra-low temperature.

“So that’s the first criteria, that they can handle the cold chain but it will still go outside Metro Manila. Region 3, 4-A, 7 and 11,” Herbosa said during the arrival of the vaccine at the NAIA in Pasay City.

A total of 1,028,430 Pfizer doses were delivered — 811,980 doses were unloaded in NAIA at about 9:20 p.m.; 128,700 doses sent to Cebu City and 87,750 doses were flown to Davao City Thursday morning.

As more vaccines arrive, Herbosa said the National Capital Region’s (NCR) vaccination rate has improved, with more getting protected against the disease.

“Our vaccination rates in Metro Manila is at almost 70 percent fully vaccinated, 95 percent single dose. So there is what we call saturation level where there would be less people in the vaccine sites. So the newer doses are going to regions where the vaccination rates are lower, where ten percent or less in some areas,” he added.

Some areas, including the NCR, have exhibited a slowdown or downtrend in active coronavirus infections.

Data from the Department of Health showed that the average daily case of 19,709 last week showed a 5-percent decrease compared to the previous weeks.

The case fatality rate also decreased despite a three-fold rise in cases, comparing data between this year and the start of the pandemic in 2020.

In 2021, the case fatality rate was at 1.47 percent as compared to 2.47 percent in 2020.

“I’m happy about the (improving) case fatality rate, that means the vaccines are working. There are less people dying from Covid-19 and I will attribute that to the (fact) that many people are already vaccinated. That’s a national figure,” Herbosa said.

Expected to arrive Thursday are government-procured 728,910 Pfizer doses — 51,480 doses will be unloaded in Cebu City and another 677,430 doses at NAIA.

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