A presidential adviser believes things will improve in the second half of the year as more COVID-19 vaccines from different manufacturers arrive by the month of June.
Presidential adviser on entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion said vaccine maker AstraZeneca has confirmed the arrival of 1.5 million doses of its vaccine by the first week of June.
He said he expects an order of 17 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines to be completed by the end of 2021 to February 2022.
Another 100,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine will also arrive by the first week of June while a shipment of Novavax vaccines will arrive in August-September.
The government is also set to meet with Bharat Biotech for the purchase of its COVID-19 vaccines COVAXIN, which can arrive by June.
"Ang maganda dito - by June, things will be better because we will start vaccinating a lot of people," he told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
Concepcion said vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. has also agreed to prioritize the private sector in the next round of AstraZeneca vaccinations. He said that of the 17 million AstraZeneca doses set to arrive, 11 million will go to local government units while 3 million will go to the national government.
The final 3 million doses will go to the private sector.
"So about 1.5 million employees will be able to get the AstraZeneca vaccines," Concepcion said, adding that companies should ensure 100 percent participation of their employees.
The presidential adviser also acknowledged the tough decision ahead on whether or not to extend the modified enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and surrounding provinces.
He said that while the COVID-19 infection level has decreased, hospitals in Metro Manila are still at critical qualification level due to the influx of COVID-19 patients
He noted that the rise of community pantries also shows how the pandemic has negatively impacted the people.
"Nakikita na rin na nahihirapan na ang mga mamamayan," he said.