MANILA - The arrival of 600,000 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine shots procured by the private sector will boost the country's inoculation drive under the current alert level and the implementation of granular lockdowns, an official said Friday.
The recent delivery is part of the third batch of AstraZeneca shots for the month of September under the "A Dose of Hope" program, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion said in a statement.
"Intensified vaccination rollout" is crucial to beat the virus and to open the economy, he added.
“Ramped up vaccination during the granular lockdowns in NCR will help us beat the Delta variant, thereby allowing us to save the fourth quarter of the year from irreversible effects to the health care system and to the economy,” Concepcion said.
"We need a fast and almost perfect rollout and the private sector, with the arrival of these vaccine doses from AstraZeneca, can now do that for its employees,” Concepcion said
Metro Manila was placed under the new quarantine classification Alert Level 4 on Sept. 16, under which the government can implement granular lockdowns in areas where there are elevated COVID-19 case numbers.
National Task Force against COVID-19 Chief Implementer and Vaccine Czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr, meanwhile, said vaccination efforts would be "more aggressive" this September through the cooperation of local governments, the health sector and private firms.
The Philippines received over 500,000 AstraZeneca shots last Sept. 10.