MANILA - The government is planning to deploy all 600,000 Sinovac vaccine doses to different hospitals across the country within the first week of March, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr., said Wednesday.
The country began rolling out its vaccination program on Monday using shots from Beijing-based Sinovac Biotech, which arrived on Sunday. The 11 hospitals where the vaccines were deployed so far were able to inoculate 2,793 as of Tuesday evening, said Galvez.
"Ang target namin end of the week, ma-deploy na namin 'yung almost 600 (thousand)...Ang target namin ngayong linggo, ma-dispatch na namin, ma-distribute na namin lahat ng mga doses sa different regions," he told ANC's Headstart.
(Our target for the end of the week is to deploy almost 600,000. Our target for this week is to dispatch, distribute all doses to the different regions.)
He said the initial demand allocation set was for 202,182 individuals in Luzon, 51,140 for Visayas, and 94,540 for Mindanao. Each person is supposed to receive 2 doses.
Those in excess of 600,000 would be filled in by the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine when it arrives, he said.
"Initially, nung unang araw, walang halos kumuha, mga 13 percent lang ang nag-request...Ngayon, halos araw-araw, may tumatawag ng mga congressmen at mga mayors na talagang gusto nilang mabigyan din 'yung mga ospital po nila sa kanilang mga lugar," he said.
(Initially, on the first day, there was almost no one who wanted to get it, only about 13 percent requested for it. Now, almost everyday, there are congressmen and mayors who want to have hospitals in their areas also given the vaccine.)
Galvez was among the first recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Philippine General Hospital on Monday. He said he did not experience any side effects and the pain on his shoulder is gone.
However, he said 12 individuals who received the vaccine experienced "very minor adverse effects" and 154 others were "deferred" after a medical screening.
The Philippines has logged 580,442 total coronavirus infections as of Tuesday, after 6 straight days of more than 2,000 new cases.