Philippines supply of vaccines to normalize by June 14
Volunteers at San Juan Theater inoculate economic frontliners or those belonging under the A4 priority group on June 8, 2021.
The STAR/Boy Santos

Philippines supply of vaccines to normalize by June 14

Neil Jayson Servallos (The Philippine Star) - June 10, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines’ COVID-19 vaccine supply is expected to “normalize” by June 14, as more deliveries arrive to solve supply shortages in local governments outside Metro Manila, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said yesterday.

“What we’re seeing is by June 14, our supply will begin to normalize,” Galvez said, adding that about 3.2 million doses of Pfizer and Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines would be arriving today, part of the 11 million doses expected for June.

The National Task Force chief expects 12 million doses to arrive next month and about 17 million more by August.

Galvez said the government will deploy the lion’s share of 11 million doses this month to different provinces, so local government units can resume their respective rollouts.

“What’s going to be retained in Metro Manila are more or less 30 to 40 percent and more than 60 percent will go outside. So what we’re seeing is maybe six million will be deployed outside (Metro Manila),” the vaccine czar said.

One million Sinovac doses from Beijing are set to arrive today at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 aboard Cebu Pacific flight 5J671. The vaccines will be immediately transported to the PharmaServ Express cold storage facility in Marikina City while the Department of Health (DOH) identifies LGU recipients.

On Tuesday, COVID-19 policy deputy chief implementer Vince Dizon said the country was able to vaccinate 218,000 people “despite the lack of supply.” He said 6.4 million doses have been administered, with 1.6 million individuals receiving their second dose, and that numbers are expected to increase once more vaccines arrive.

Pediatric inoculation

To achieve herd immunity and safely reopen schools, the National Task Force against COVID-19 said government is looking into inoculating the “pediatric” population: 29 million Filipinos aged 17 and below.

“Experts are saying we cannot eliminate COVID-19 if the whole population is not vaccinated, because kids are the most mobile. We also can’t reopen schools if we can’t vaccinate students,” he added.

Galvez said government experts are still studying which vaccine brands can be administered to youngsters, noting that Pfizer was granted EUA for 12 to 15-year-olds, Moderna which has been doing clinical trials for 12 to 17-year-olds and Sinovac which secured an emergency use authorization in China for 3- to 17-year-olds.

Faster rollout

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno said the faster rollout of COVID-19 vaccines is crucial in accelerating the recovery from the pandemic-induced recession.

“I think the key really is the pace of vaccination. The sooner we complete the 50 million, the better for the economy because it will give confidence to the consumers, in turn it will increase economic activity and the business sector will invest more,” Diokno said on The Source on CNN Philippines.

The BSP chief also emphasized the importance of boosting consumer spending. “Its really consumer confidence at this time. That is the name of the game,” he said. – Rudy Santos, Lawrence Agcaoili

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