Vaccination impact seen by November â Galvez
Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr.
OPAPP/Released, file

Vaccination impact seen by November – Galvez

Neil Jayson Servallos (The Philippine Star) - April 23, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A drop in the country’s COVID-19 cases may be seen by October or November, once most of the people living in highly urbanized areas like Metro Manila are vaccinated, the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 said yesterday.

NTF chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said a downward trend could be seen once the country has secured more vaccines, delivery of which is to be ramped up in the next months.

In the meantime, the government has to resort to implementing public health standards to control the spread of the disease.

“What we’re seeing is once we have vaccinated a majority of the population in highly urbanized cities like Metro Manila, maybe by October or November, we will see the effects… that (cases) will really drop,” Galvez said in a briefing yesterday.

“For now, we should observe minimum health standards,” he said.

The Philippines is currently administering the China-made CoronaVac and the British drug maker’s AstraZeneca.

Galvez said the country hopes to have a portfolio of at least seven vaccine brands this year.

Vaccine deliveries from Russia’s Gamaleya Institute and the US’s Pfizer will start next week, Galvez said, adding an initial 15,000 Sputnik V doses are expected on Monday.

Galvez said President Duterte would receive the next batch of Sputnik V consisting of 480,000 doses that will be shipped on April 29, along with 500,000 more doses of Sinovac.

At least one to two million doses of Sputnik V are expected to be shipped next month, with two million more expected in June.

Sinovac is expected to deliver two million doses next month and 4.5 million in June.

Galvez said Pfizer – whose scheduled vaccines to the country last month were snagged due to lack of an indemnity clause – is expected to deliver 195,000 doses by the end of the month.

Galvez said an initial 194,000 doses of Moderna vaccine could “hopefully” arrive next month.

The government is also looking at negotiating for five to 10 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine.

The government’s total vaccine budget for this year is P82.5 billion - sourced from the Bayanihan 2 funds, P10 billion; total unprogrammed appropriations at P70 billion, and funds from the Department of Health, P2.5 billion.

Meanwhile, Public Works Secretary Mark Villar clarified yesterday that they are allowing the construction of essential public and private projects in areas under enhanced community quarantine and modified ECQ.

Villar said essential public and private construction projects in ECQ and MECQ areas could continue, provided these are compliant to Department Order 30 or the revised construction safety guidelines for infrastructure projects during the pandemic.

Under DO 30, the allowed essential public and private projects include the construction of quarantine facilities, dormitories or facilities for healthcare workers, vaccination centers, educational facilities, sewerage projects and priority public and private infrastructure projects.

Minimum health standards should be complied with such as wearing of face shields and masks, and observing physical distancing. – Robertzon Ramirez

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