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Philippines gets 2.28 million more Pfizer doses

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Philippines gets 2.28 million more Pfizer doses
This photo shows government officials along with representatives from the WHO and UNICEF welcoming the 2.28 million doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine which arrived in Manila on June 10, 2021
Release / World Health Organization

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines on Thursday night received 2.28 million doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine from the COVAX Facility, marking the arrival of the biggest shipment yet of the jabs in the country. 

An Air Hongkong plane carrying the doses landed at the Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay around 8:47 p.m., per News5. 

The Philippines got its first ever supply of Pfizer's vaccine in May of about 193,000 doses. Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the newly arrived will be given to those in the A1 to A3 priority list, or health workers, senior citizens, and those with comorbidities. 

"If we don’t vaccinate them we will encounter the same packed emergency rooms, unavailable intensive care units, and even hospital beds during the next surge," he said in a statement. "I urge everyone to choose to be vaccinated when it’s their turn to protect themselves and their loved ones."

The Freeman has reported that Cebu also received 210,000 Pfizer doses tonight at the Mactan Cebu International Airport, while 111,150 doses went to Davao. The three metropolitan areas — Metro Manila, Metro Cebu and Metro Davao, are so far the only areas in the country with capability for storing the said jabs.

Government has continued to rely significantly on vaccines from the COVAX Facility, with supplies yet to become stable. It has received millions of doses from Sinovac from its direct purchase, and is awaiting the arrival of other brands such as Moderna and AstraZeneca. 

Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe, the World Health Organization's representative to the country, said that while there has been huge progress on efforts, authorities have to accelerate vaccination on the elderly and those with health conditions.

"WHO urges the National Task Force and the local government units to establish mechanisms to increase accessibility to vaccination of the healthcare workers and elderly across the country,” he said.

The Philippines has administered over 6.31 doses of COVID-19 vaccine as of June 8, according to official figures. That would amount to 1.68 million Filipinos fully vaccinated, while 4.63 million have received their first dose. 

COVAX

COVID-19 VACCINES

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

FRANCISCO DUQUE III

METRO CEBU

METRO DAVAO

PFIZER

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: January 4, 2022 - 9:06am

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)

January 4, 2022 - 9:06am

Government must increase vaccination capacity across the Philippines in anticipation of a surge of COVID-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant of the corona virus, Sen. Risa Hontiveros says.

She says local government units and the private sector can work together to put up more vaccination centers and deploy more vaccination teams to get more people inoculated against COVID-19.

"The active COVID cases have nearly doubled in three days. The positivity rate is almost four times the ceiling set by the World Health Organization. Huwag na nating hintayin na sobrang lumala pa ang sitwasyon bago tayo gumawa ng paraan para mapabilis ang ating pagbabakuna."

December 23, 2021 - 11:44am

FDA chief Eric Domingo says that its agency has given emergency approval for the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.

November 11, 2021 - 7:30am

The United States immunized around 900,000 children aged five-to-11 against Covid in the first week the Pfizer vaccine was authorized for them, a White House official says Wednesday.

Roughly 700,000 more have made appointments at pharmacies, White House Covid coordinator Jeff Zients tells reporters.

"The program is just getting up to full strength," he says, adding most of the shots were given in the last couple of days alone. — AFP

November 8, 2021 - 7:56pm

The Philippines has received 2.8 million doses of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccines from Russia.

The shipment arrived at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City on Monday night and was met by President Rodrigo Duterte himself.

November 7, 2021 - 11:57am

A Department of the Interior and Local Government proposal to require Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiaries to get vaccinated before cash transfers to them can be released will not help the poor, Sen. Risa Hontiveros says.

"Walang kundisyon sa 4Ps law na kailangang COVID-19 vaccinated ang recipients kaya dapat igalang at irespeto ng ating mga opisyal ang desisyon ng sinuman ukol sa pagbabakuna," she says. 

(The 4Ps Law does not include the condition that recipients must be vaccinated against COVID-19 so the government must respect people's decision to get vaccinated or not)

She says it would be better for government agencues like the social welfare and health departments to encourage 4Ps beneficiaries to get vaccinated but not as a condition to receive cash aid.

Hontiveros says encouragement and explanations have helped address vaccine hesitancy in Metro Manila.

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