The Philippines will get more Covid vaccine doses from Western suppliers, particularly from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, during the last quarter of this year, according to National Task Force against Covid-19 chief implementer, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said on Thursday.
During the arrival of 1.2 million doses of the Moderna vaccine at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1, Galvez thanked the US government, the COVAX facility, and the two Western pharmaceutical companies for giving access to the most sought-after brands of jabs.
“We’re seeing this fourth quarter, most will be Moderna and Pfizer. So, more or less we will receive 50 to 60 million doses,” Galvez said in Filipino.
Due to some delays in vaccine shipment occurring in September, he said at least 100 million doses are set to arrive in October alone.
“Meaning, if we have 100 million doses, 50 million will be very safe – will be fully vaccinated,” Galvez said partly in Filipino.
Despite the challenges brought by the shortage in western vaccine brands in the first half of the year, he said the country remains on track to vaccinate a total of 70 million Filipinos by the end of 2021.
He noted that the country will have to up its daily vaccination rate from 800,000 to one million jabs a day to reach this goal.
“But once we reach the inflection point, and there will be continuous hesitancy, minimal will be 58 million. That’s the priority population,” Galvez said in Filipino.
Of the 1.233 million doses of the Moderna vaccine that arrived on Thursday, he said a total of 863,800 doses will be distributed by the government to “priority regions” including Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Central Visayas, Davao Region, Soccsksargen and other cities that are considered “vulnerable” or have previously experienced a surge in new infections.
The remaining 369,500 doses were procured and will be used by the International Container Terminal Service, Inc.
To date, he said the country has so far received a total of 71.3 million doses of various Covid-19 vaccines, with 45.2 million doses already administered.