More than 1.3M Filipinos vaccinated against COVID-19 - DOH

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 21 2021 03:57 PM

Average daily vaccinations close to 44,000

MANILA — The Philippines has so far inoculated more than 1.3 million Filipinos against the COVID-19 nearly 2 months since the vaccine rollout started, according to government data released Wednesday.

In a vaccine statistics bulletin, the Department of Health said that as of April 21, a total of 1,562,563 vaccine doses have already been administered. Out of those, 209,456 were 2nd doses.

The remaining 1,353,107 were first doses, which means that the same number of individuals received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The DOH said that all of the 3,025,600 COVID-19 vaccines that have arrived in the country have been distributed to local government units.

The 1.3 million administered doses comprise 76% of the 1,780,400 allocated doses, and the 209,456 administered second doses account for 12%.

The DOH previously said that the 2nd dose allotment for Sinovac vaccine recipients is already secured, while those for AstraZeneca are expected to arrive separately as the product has a longer interval time for a 2nd dose.

Compared to the week before, the daily average number of vaccinated individuals slightly declined to 43,835 for the past 7 days. As of April 13, it was already at 47,545 even with only 2,988 vaccination sites.

This week, the number of vaccination sites increased to 3,263.

Among the six COVID-19 vaccine candidates granted emergency use authorization (EUA) in the Philippines, only those developed by Sinovac and AstraZeneca have been delivered so far.

Vaccine products of Pfizer, Gamaleya Institute, Johnson & Johnson and Bharat Biotech have yet to reach the country.

On Monday, the DOH said hundreds of thousands of vaccine doses from Sinovac, Pfizer and Gamaleya Institute are expected to arrive later this month.

“The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has also issued EUA (emergency use authorization) for Janssen and Covaxin that will help widen the country's vaccine portfolio,” said the DOH.

The agency said that while health workers, senior citizens and persons with comorbidities are being simultaneously vaccinated now, “everyone is urged to get vaccinated when it's their turn in order to get protected against the severe form of COVID-19.”

But an official of the World Health Organization urged the Philippines to ensure that healthcare workers are "fully protected" against COVID-19 before the vaccination drive "gradually" covers other groups. 

The government on Monday said 965,960 medical frontliners have received their first vaccine dose and 198,534 have completed the second dose. The Philippines has around 1.7 million health workers. 

The latest number of vaccinated individuals is still far from the target of 70 million by the end of the year to reach herd immunity against the coronavirus. This as the country struggles to curb the spread of COVID-19, especially in Metro Manila and nearby areas.

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