3.2 million more COVID-19 vaccine doses arriving on June 10 — Galvez

Christian Deiparine - Philstar.com
3.2 million more COVID-19 vaccine doses arriving on June 10 â Galvez
Volunteers at San Juan Theater inoculate economic frontliners or those belonging under the A4 priority group on June 8, 2021.
The STAR / Boy Santos

MANILA, Philippines — More doses of COVID-19 vaccines will reach the Philippines on June 10, a crucial development with the country recently opening up inoculation for millions of essential workers. 

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. told DZMM's "Teleradyo" that deliveries on Thursday would be for 2.2 million Pfizer doses from COVAX Facility and 1 million more of purchased Sinovac. 

The Philippines continues to rely significantly on the World Health Organization-led initiative for the jabs, with supplies yet to become stable. This week, authorities began administering vaccine to the A4 priority list, which counts some 35 million workers from various sectors.

Galvez said he was sorry for the delays in the arrival of the jabs as he cited logistical difficulties. He added that only 4.5 million doses out of the supposed 7 million in May were delivered to the country.

"I would like to apologize to local government units because the three million intended for A4 was slightly delayed," he said, partly in Filipino. "But the 3.2 million will be arriving tomorrow."

The vaccine czar sought to respond to concerns by Antipolo City Mayor Jun Ynares, who reported that they had to put on hold their inoculations due to a lack of more supplies. 

"Even if more vaccines arrive in the country, the IATF and the DOH would still prioritize those in Metro Manila," he wrote on Facebook in Filipino. "If Manila and Quezon City had received at least half a million vaccines each, those that reached Antipolo do not make up even 10%."

Galvez said Antipolo in Rizal counts as a priority as it is also near the National Capital Region. This month, he said more Sinovac doses will arrive along with 250,000 doses of Moderna, the country's first supply of the said vaccine. 

Majority of the shipment or 195,000 doses would go to government, while 55,000 will go to the private sector, the inoculation czar added.

The Philippines has so far administered 6.31 million doses as of June 8, per government figures. 

Some 1.68 million Filipinos are now fully vaccinated for COVID-19, still far from officials' goal of 50 to 70 million in 2021. The number of those with first dose, meanwhile, has stood at 4.63 million.

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