Over 12 million anti-Covid-19 doses now in the Philippines
MANILA – The government has received 12,605,870 doses of vaccines to prevent the spread of the dreaded COVID-19 virus.
During the midday press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the government has already jabbed 6,948,549 individuals across the country. From this numbers, 1,879,694 individuals have completed the two doses required by Health experts.
The total number of Filipinos who received their doses reached 5,068,855 as of 6:00 A.M. today.
The report said 968,750 out the total 1,447,426 (A1) have received their jabs with workers in frontline health services have also received their second dose. So far 1,447,426 have been injected from the country’s medical workers across the country.
Meanwhile, 1,734,596 senior citizens otherwise known as A2, have been inoculated while with 479,034 have received their second dose.
The same report said 1,733,869 individuals with comorbidities or A3 have been vaccinated where 424,889 have finished their second dose.
According to Secretary Roque, 152,964 frontline personnel in essential sectors, classified as A4 have received their vaccines while 7,021 have already completed their vaccination.
The government has already administered 6,948,549 doses since March 1,2021.
Meanwhile, most of the over 12.6 million doses in the Philippines are either donated by COVAX or by the country’s bilateral partners like China.
This was how Deputy Chief Implementer Secretary Vince Dizon explained the details of the vaccines in the country’s inventory.
“A big portion of these vaccines were bought by the Philippines from China (Sinovac) and Russia (Sputnik). The other vaccines we bought such as Pfizer, Moderna, Astra-Zenica, Novovax, and Johnson and Johnson are still forthcoming,” Secretary Dizon said.
He explained there’s the vaccine shortage worldwide with most of the vaccines are in the hands of rich countries. The Philippines, he added has sought assistance from multilateral partners such as COVAX and bilateral partners like China.
Asked of his take on the G7’s statement they will donate a billion doses to poor and developing countries, Secretary Dizon said it’s definitely good news “but as Secretary Galvez has said, we have already signed with suppliers such as Moderna with the first batch due to arrive this June 25th and so on.”
“We need to get hold of every available vaccine for our people,” he said. He added the Philippines has joined the call for easing patents to allow other countries to produce the vaccines needed by the people.
However, he explained it will still take time for companies to establish their vaccine manufacturing facilities in the Philippines.
Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez said they have discussed the issues lengthily at the recent meeting by APEC member countries calling for easing of voluntary licensing from different patent holders.
“We have discussed the need to assist countries to produce the vaccines they need even on a temporary basis considering the high demand for vaccines,” Secretary Lopez said.
He said he was ordered to provide a green lane for companies interested in vaccine manufacturing and has worked with the Department of Health and Anti-Red Tape Authority to allow local production with the Food and Drug Administration limiting process to 20 days.
“There are eight entities being considered to manufacture vaccines in the Philippines,” Secretary Lopez concluded. (Melo M. Acuña)
Deputy Chief Implementer and Testing Czar Secretary Vince Dizon (left) and Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez talk about the vaccine rollout in the Philippines as well as prospects for local vaccine manufacturing or production. (Screen grab from Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque's press briefing/Melo M. Acuna)