73% of Senate employees vaccinated against COVID-19 â Sotto
Senate President Vicente Sotto III (right) leads the resumption of session Monday, May 17, 2021, after a Lenten break. Seven senators were physically present while 15 others attended the session virtually. (
Joseph Vidal/Senate PRIB

73% of Senate employees vaccinated against COVID-19 — Sotto

(Philstar.com) - May 18, 2021 - 3:59pm

MANILA, Philippines — A majority of Senate employees have been inoculated against COVID-19, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Tuesday. 

"As of today, the Senate has all the employees vaccinated at 73%. In other words, 73% of the Senate is already vaccinated," Sotto announced during a plenary session. 

The remaining 27% who are unvaccinated, he added, includes some senators. "[B]ecause ang usapan natin, huli tayo (our agreement was we would go last)." 

Commission on Appointments and Senate Electoral Tribunal employees are scheduled to be vaccinated this Saturday, he added. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel said security guards and janitorial staff were also included in the chamber's inoculation campaign. 

They did not mention the brands of the vaccines used and whether these were taken from the government's stockpile. 

However, in March, Sotto said the upper chamber was trying to procure 5,000 coronavirus vaccines for its staff whom he said are frontline personnel in essential services but have no priority allocations under the government's vaccination program.

"It's not the Senate that will go first [but] our employees. Of course, frontline workers in the Senate will go first," he told state-run PTV in Filipino at the time. 

He also said Senate leadership preferred vaccines from Russia's Gamaleya Research Institute and China's Sinopharm. Of these two, only Russia's Sputnik V has emergency use approval from local regulators. 

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. in a prerecorded pandemic task force meeting aired Tuesday said the government has administered a total of 3,001,875 jabs as of May 16, utilizing less than half of the 7.77 million doses it has received in total. 

Since the government kicked off its inoculation campaign earlier this year, Galvez said 719,602 people have been fully vaccinated and over 2.28 million have received their first dose. 

— Bella Perez-Rubio 

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: June 17, 2021 - 5:29pm

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)

June 17, 2021 - 5:29pm

The first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines for private sector use arrives in the Philippines on Thursday.

At least 1.5 million does of Chinese-made Sinovac vaccines lands in Manila, 500,000 of which will be for the sole use by companies and private organizations for their inoculation efforts for employees and qualified personnel.

This is part of the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry's tripartite agreement with IP Biotech, Inc. and the national government. — Photo release from FFCCCII

June 15, 2021 - 12:23pm

Japan is donating AstraZeneca vaccines to the Philippines, Japanese Ambassador Koshikawa Kazuhiko announces on his Twitter account.

"[W]e'll make sure to deliver them at the soonest possible time so no one gets left behind during this pandemic," he also says.

June 11, 2021 - 12:13pm

Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo says that as far as he knows all of the sitting justices of the Supreme Court have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

He says the court asked for justices to be classified as A4. Some of the justices are also already senior citizens.

June 10, 2021 - 8:58pm

More than 2 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines from the Covax facility arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Thursday night.

More than 200,000 doses will be distributed to Cebu and Davao while the remaining doses are for Metro Manila.

June 10, 2021 - 7:48am

Another 1 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine have arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Vaccination of economic frontliners, or workers in the A4 category, kicked off this month.

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