Vaccine czar: 1.5 million AstraZeneca doses to be administered by June 15
Frontliners get inoculated with Aztrazeneca COVID-19 vaccine during the continuation of vaccination for health workers and frontliners at Marikina Sports Complex on March 24, 2021.
The STAR/Michael Varcas

Vaccine czar: 1.5 million AstraZeneca doses to be administered by June 15

(Philstar.com) - May 13, 2021 - 1:27pm

MANILA, Philippines — Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. on Thursday sought to allay concerns that the country's supply of AstraZeneca jabs could go to waste, saying it will be used up before its expiration in the next months.

In a briefing at the Makati Medical Center, Galvez vowed that the 1.5 million doses which are set to expire on June 30 will be administered by mid-June.

"We can manage that, considering that our daily inoculation right now is 83,000 and it will increase over the days," he said in Filipino.

The Department of Health on Wednesday said it will begin to use the bulk of AstraZeneca's vaccine as first dose to prevent wasting the limited supplies. 

These doses are from the COVAX facility shipment that arrived in the Philippines on May 8. Inoculation in the country remains within health workers, senior citizens and those with comorbidities.

Galvez added that more vaccination sites will be opened to increase the country's inoculating capacity. 

"Our logistics can do this," he said, still in Filipino. "We have been rehearsing our rollout for a long time."

Government numbers, however, showed that only 514,655 Filipinos are so far fully vaccinated for COVID-19 as of May 11, more than two months since inoculation began. Over 2.03 million, meanwhile, have received their first dose.

Last week, the country's seven-day average of daily vaccinations was at 67,780 in some 3,688 sites. Many have urged government to fast-track its efforts if it looks to achieve its goal of 50 to 70 million vaccinated this 2021.

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