MANILA — An infectious diseases expert on Tuesday hoped the country would secure enough supply of the bivalent COVID-19 vaccines to cover many health care workers and the vulnerable sector.
Philippines over the weekend received 390,000 Pfizer bivalent vaccine doses donated by the Lithuanian government. But Dr. Rontgene Solante said the current supply is lacking.
The country will need more than 2 or 3 million doses if the government want to cover those working in the health sector and the elderly population, said Solante.
"We are also expecting around 1 million doses na donation coming from the COVAX facility, sana madagdagan para at least, kung kailangan natin protektahan ang health care workers and elderly population, sila dapat ang magiging priority," he said in a public briefing.
Those who are immunocompromised and with comorbidities should be prioritized too, he said, noting that because of the limited supply, the rollout should be targeted.
The public should not be complacent about COVID-19, the expert said, because many of those hospitalized right now are the elderly.
"If we will only depend on this donation... mga 1.3 million, talagang kulang ito," he said.
Solante added while the downtrend of positivity rate means the country already "passed the critical stage" of the Arcturus variant, there are still half a dozen COVID-19 variants that the World Health Organization is still under monitoring.
"Hindi pa rin natatapos ang COVID, mayroon pa rin tayong variants na monitoring and anytime, these variants under monitoring, sakop pa rin sa omicron, sakop pa rin sa BA.2... na kailangan pa rin nating bantayan," he said.