VP Robredo joins calls for increased vaccine supply outside of Metro Manila
This Dec. 2, 2019 photo shows Vice President Leni Robredo.
OVP/Jay Ganzon

VP Robredo joins calls for increased vaccine supply outside of Metro Manila

(Philstar.com) - June 20, 2021 - 5:05pm

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo echoed calls on Sunday for the national government to deploy more coronavirus vaccines outside of Metro Manila. 

As it currently stands, nine economic centers dubbed as “focus areas” are set to receive 42% of the incoming vaccine supply, the Palace disclosed earlier this week.

Speaking on her weekly radio show, the country’s No. 2 pointed to high infection rates all over the country in areas beyond the so-called NCR+ bubble.  

“Our request right now, is not just at Metro Manila, but also for areas of concern all over the Philippines to be given support,” she said in mixed English and Filipino. 

Earlier this week, the League of Cities of the Philippines appealed for the government’s coronavirus task force to include more areas in the priority recipients of COVID vaccines following the recent surge of infections in other high-risk cities.

"We deem that the preemptive action of distributing vaccines to a broader number of cities will prevent a potential new wave of case surges throughout the Philippines," Bacolod City Mayor Bing Leonardia and Calapan City Mayor Arnan Panaligan said in the letter addressed to vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr.

READ: ICUs in Iloilo City, Koronadal, Bacoor hit full capacity — OCTA

Robredo pointed to the slow progress of the national vaccination program outside of Metro Manila as one factor that could be solved with better vaccine allocation. 

“That’s really the problem. For example, here in NCR, they’re already vaccinating the A5 group, but in the provinces, they’re not even done with the A2,” she said. 

“We’re getting so many requests already. Our problem is we can only do so much, because we have to work within the protocols of the [Inter-Agency Task Force] and the local government units too.” 

According to the OCTA Research Group, cases outside the capital region, particularly in the noted areas of concern, remained on the rise this past week. 

In its latest report on Sunday, the think tank said that three cities have hit full capacity in their intensive care units for COVID-19 patients. 

To date, the Philippines has recorded 1.36 million coronavirus infections, over 57,000 of whom are still classified as active cases. 

READ: Gov't should aim high instead of lowering 'realistic' year-end vaccination target — Robredo

— Franco Luna with reports from Christian Deiparine 


As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: July 22, 2021 - 8:18am

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)

July 22, 2021 - 8:18am

Another 1.5 million doses of Sinovac vaccine arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Thursday. 

According to government data, around 5.03 million of the Philippines' total 109 million population have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 almost five months into the government's inoculation campaign. 

July 15, 2021 - 5:16pm

Presidential adviser Joey Concepcion and several government officials welcome the arrival of the first tranche of AstraZeneca vaccines procured by the private sector.

“We are welcoming a total of 1.15M doses of AstraZeneca vaccines today ordered by the private sector and another 1.15 million doses in August and the rest are expected to be delivered in the coming months. A total of 2.75 million employees from close to 500 companies are expected to benefit from this—not to mention those who will benefit from the LGU procured doses,” Concepcion says.

“We want to help the government so that we can execute the vaccine rollout in the fastest and most efficient way possible. Allowing us to execute, we could focus on the vaccination of our employees, the LGUs could focus on its constituents, and the national government could focus on the rest that are not covered. We need a fast and almost perfect rollout and the private sector, with the arrival of these initial doses from AstraZeneca, can now do that for its employees," he adds.

June 28, 2021 - 12:05pm

The Philippine vaccination program has officially administered 10,065,414 doses COVID-19 vaccine, the Palace says.

A ceremonial 10 millionth dose was administered Monday morning in Valenzuela City.

June 25, 2021 - 2:13pm

President Rodrigo Duterte has received the second dose of the Sinopharm vaccine against COVID-19, the Presidential Security Group says.

Members of the PSG were among the first in the Philippines to receive the Sinopharm jabs, which they administered on themselves late last year despite the Food and Drug Authority not including it among COVID-19 vaccines allowed for use in the country.

The FDA later issued a compassionate use permit for it. 

June 24, 2021 - 7:48am

A shipment of 2 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine arrives at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila on Thursday morning.


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