PH breaches 5 million mark of administered COVID-19 vaccine doses

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 30 2021 09:06 AM | Updated as of May 31 2021 09:54 AM

PH breaches 5 million mark of administered COVID-19 vaccine doses 1
Olympic and SEA Games bound athletes get vaccinated with Sinovac’s COVID19 vaccine at the Manila Prince Hotel on May 28, 2021. The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) approved the prioritization of athletes, officials, and staff of the Philippine delegation in preparation for the two upcoming sporting events. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE) - The Philippines has administered more than 5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, the official leading the country's vaccination drive said Sunday.

Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said at least 5,120,023 doses have been administered. Some 1,189,353 people are already fully vaccinated or have received two doses.

Galvez said these include some 1.4 million or 93 percent of the country's health workers, with 664,000 fully inoculated.

A total of 1,368,836 or 13.38 percent of 9 million senior citizens and 1.15 million persons or 22.7 percent of those with comorbidities have also received their vaccines, he added.

The government needs to conduct 500,000 jabs daily in Metro Manila, Metro Davao, Metro Cebu, and 6 other urban areas to achieve herd immunity by November 27, according to Galvez.

"Pagka meron tayong steady supply, kaya nilang makuha mga target nila. Kaya ako, I'm very confident na makukuha natin ang containment by August or September - mako-contain na natin. Magkakaroon na (ng vaccine) ang more than 30 percent ng ating population," he told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.

(If we have a steady supply, local governments can meet their target. I'm very confident that we can achieve virus containment by August or September. More than 30 percent of our population will be vaccinated by then.)

"Pag nakuha na po natin ang 30 percent bababa na po ang kaso natin...Ang initial best scenario is by September or October makuha po natin ang herd containment...In case magkaroon ng constriction sa supply, pinaka ano po natin first quarter of 2022."

(Virus cases will decline once we vaccinate 30 percent of our population...The initial best scenario is we will achieve herd containment by September or October...In case there will be a constriction in supply, the next best scenario is first quarter of 2022.)

During a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte early this month, Galvez said the government aims to achieve herd containment by September this year by inoculating 25-50 million of the population. 

With this, hospitalization and deaths due to COVID-19 are expected to be reduced. Once the coverage of the vaccination climbs to 58-70 million, Galvez said herd immunity would have been achieved.

Government forecasts some 10 million Filipinos will be inoculated by June as the Philippines is expected to receive 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, he said during the TeleRadyo interview.

Some 2.2 million Pfizer jabs through global alliance COVAX facility will arrive between June 7 and 11, and another 1 million Sinovac jabs on June 6, he added.

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Some 2 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine through COVAX facility might also arrive next month, while government is negotiating for the delivery of 1 to 2 million Sputnik V jabs, said Galvez.

Another batch of AstraZeneca and an initial delivery of Pfizer and Moderna jabs might be delivered in July, he added.

"Ang US, magbibigay na rin pong excess at tayo pong Pilipinas ang isa sa mga unang bibigyan," he said.

(The US will also give away its excess vaccines and the Philippines will be among the first to receive these.)

"Nakikipag-coordinate din po tayo sa embahada ng US at tuwang-tuwa po kami na very positive ang aming engagement."

(We have coordinated with the US embassy and we're pleased that our engagement has been very positive.)

The Philippines started rolling out its COVID-19 vaccination program on March 1. It has so far received supplies of vaccine candidates developed by Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Gamaleya Institute, and Pfizer.

On Saturday, the country reported 7,443 new COVID-19 cases, with fatalities exceeding more than a hundred for the fourth straight day. 

This brings the country's total infections to 1,216,582, of which 53,614 or 4.4 percent are active. 

The Philippines confirmed its first COVID-19 case on Jan. 30 last year in a Chinese woman who arrived from Wuhan City, China where the disease is believed to have first emerged.