900k more Pfizer Covid vaccine doses arrive in PH

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

About 900,000 doses of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines donated by the United States government through the COVAX Facility arrived Sunday afternoon at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.

The latest shipment represents half of the 1.8 million doses of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines to be delivered to the Philippines also through the COVAX Facility.

More than 14.2 million doses were delivered to the Philippines in the first week of October, with average daily arrivals hitting 1.5 million doses.

Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. was accompanied by US Embassy in Manila Chargé d’Affaires Heather Variava in welcoming the 918,450 doses which arrived via Emirates Flight EK 332 at about 4 p.m.

On Monday, another 924,300 doses will arrive via the same flight and around the same time while the government-procured 272,610 doses are expected at about 9:20 p.m.

“We are very thankful that our 100 million target will be achieved considering that we have a faithful ally that really want to help us in this time of need. Again, on behalf of the Filipino people, we would like to thank the US government for its generosity and act of compassion in this time of pandemic,” Galvez said in a media interview.

Variava also reiterated the US government’s commitment to work with the Philippines in the vaccine rollout.

As of October 8, more than 49 million doses have been administered and 23 million individuals are already fully vaccinated.

COVAX is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, and the World Health Organization, alongside the United Nations Children’s Fund.

The facility aims to accelerate the development and manufacture of Covid-19 vaccines and to guarantee equitable access for every country.

More efforts Galvez urged local government units (LGUs) to be more creative and closely work with stakeholders to ramp up their rollout.

“No more problem with supply. The challenge now is throughput, administration, and demand,” he said partly in Filipino.

Galvez said LGUs should take the lead in initiating partnerships with different agencies, as well as the private sector, in order to get the Covid-19 jab into the arms of more people.

“If they need vehicles to transport people or health care workers to vaccination sites, they can request and tap the PNP (Philippine National Police) and AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines),” Galvez said in Filipino.

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