Distribution of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines to hospitals may begin Friday â official
In this handout photo taken on March 4, 2021 and released by the Presidential Communications Operations Office-Office of the Global Media and Public Affairs (PCOO-OGMPA), workers unload containers carrying AstraZeneca vaccines from a passenger plane coming from Europe after arriving at the Ninoy Aquino International airport, in Manila.

Distribution of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines to hospitals may begin Friday — official

(Philstar.com) - March 5, 2021 - 10:16am

MANILA, Philippines — The government may start deploying close to 500,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by British Swedish firm AstraZeneca and Oxford University to different hospitals nationwide late Friday, an official leading the country’s pandemic response said.

“Maybe the distribution of AstraZeneca vaccine to different hospitals will begin either later today or tomorrow,” Vince Dizon, deputy chief implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID-19, said in an interview on Teleradyo.

In a separate interview on CNN Philippines, Dizon said the rollout of AstraZeneca jabs will “start immediately.”

After delays, some 487,200 doses of AstraZeneca obtained through the COVAX facility arrived in the Philippines Thursday night. The number of doses was lower than the 526,000 that the government expected to receive last Monday.

The Philippines is expected to receive 4.58 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from COVAX facility along with 117,000 doses of the vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNtech.

Dizon, who is also the country’s testing czar, said hospitals that received donated Sinovac jabs will also receive AstraZeneca shots.

“They will also receive [AstraZeneca] because both will be rolled out simultaneously based on the order of the president so medical frontliners will have a choice,” he said.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. earlier said the government aims to vaccinate between 1.7 million and 2 million health workers by end-March. But it faces challenges not limited to the stock of the coveted jabs but also the reluctance of the public to get inoculated.

“So every vaccine that comes in, regardless of brand, would be for them. So hopefully by end of March or April, we could vaccinate all our healthcare workers,” Dizon said. 

The government is eyeing to administer the AstraZeneca vaccine to elderly medical personnel. Sinovac, the only vaccine currently being rolled out, is only recommended by the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group for people aged between 18 and 59 years.

The World Health Organization stands by the use of AstraZeneca vaccine despite a preliminary study suggesting the jab offered less protection against the variant first seen in South Africa, its representative to the Philippines said Thursday. The country has so far detected six cases of B.1.351.

To date, the Philippines has recorded over 584,000 COVID-19 cases, including more than 12,000 deaths. — Gaea Katreena Cabico

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: April 16, 2021 - 8:19am

The national government has so far secured two official deals for COVID-19 vaccine supplies in the Philippines, one with Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac and another with the Serum Institute of India.

Watch this space for bite-sized developments on the vaccines in the Philippines. (Main image by Markus Spiske via Unsplash)

April 16, 2021 - 8:19am

As approved by the inter-agency task force on COVID-19, Priority Group A4 of the National COVID-19 Vaccine Development Plan will include:

  • commuter transport (land, air and sea), including logistics
  • public and private wet and dry market vendors 
  • frontline workers in groceries, supermarkets, delivery services 
  • workers in manufacturing for food, beverage, medical and pharmaceutical products 
  • frontline workers in food retail, including food service delivery
  • frontline workers in private and government financial services 
  • frontline workers in hotels and accommodation establishments 
  • priests, rabbis, imams and other religious leaders 
  • security guards/personnel assigned in offices, agencies and organizations identified in the list of priority industries/sectors
  • frontline workers in private and government news media 
  • customer-facing personnel of telecoms, cable and internet service providers, electricity distribution and water distribution utilities
  • frontline personnel in basic education and higher education institutions and agencies 
  • overseas Filipino workers, including those scheduled for deployment within two months 
  • frontline workers in law/justice, security, and social protection sectors
  • frontline government workers engaged in the operations of government transport system, quarantine inspection worker safety inspection and other COVID-19 response activities 
  • frontline government workers in charge of tax collection, assessment of businesses for incentives, election, national ID, data collection personnel 
  • diplomatic community and Department of Foreign Affairs personnel in consular operations 
  • Department of Public Works and Highways personnel in charge of monitoring government infrastructure
April 15, 2021 - 2:28pm

The US, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), will provide P170 million in support to help the Department of Health rollout the government's COVID-19 vaccination program.

According to the US Embassy, the aid was announced by US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires John Law during a visit to a Caloocan City vaccination site with Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and other officials.

"Through this new funding, USAID will support the Philippines in strengthening the vaccine supply chain, monitoring vaccine safety, and delivering effective communication campaigns to address vaccine hesitancy.  This assistance will also support local government units as they plan for, track, and administer vaccines."

April 13, 2021 - 8:42pm

Top US health authorities recommended a "pause" in the use of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine "out of an abundance of caution" as they investigate any links between it and blood clots, a regulator said Tuesday.

The US Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control are assessing the "potential significance" of six reported cases of a rare blood clot in patients who have received the shot, the FDA tweeted. 

"Until that process is complete, we are recommending this pause," it said.

The regulator said that as of Monday more than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine had been administered in the US.

"CDC & FDA are reviewing data involving 6 reported U.S. cases of a rare & severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the vaccine. Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare," the FDA stated on Twitter. — AFP 

April 13, 2021 - 11:20am

Some 20 million doses of Russian-made Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine are expected to arrive in the Philippines within the next four months.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. says the government will sign a supply agreement with Russia's Gamaleya Research Institute this week.

“It can be used on the elderly, so from 18 and above. So we can use this and the good thing is at least in the absence of AstraZeneca, we can use this,” Galvez says in an interview with ANC's "Headstart."

April 8, 2021 - 11:35am

Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian gets his first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

A post on Valenzuela City's official Twitter account says the mayor chose Chinese-made Sinovac.

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with