Philippines to get up to 40 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from June to August: official

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 07 2021 02:11 PM | Updated as of Jun 07 2021 02:53 PM

Workers receive their first Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine shot in a 'symbolic' vaccination at SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City on June 7, 2021, marking the start of vaccination of people under the A4 category. The vaccination of 'economic frontliners' aims to jumpstart the safe reopening of the country's economy. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The Philippines will receive about 30 to 40 million COVID-19 vaccine doses between this month and August, an official leading the inoculation drive said on Monday, as the country's first batch of essential workers got vaccinated against the novel coronavirus.

Authorities in June will take delivery of 10 to 11 million vaccine doses, including the following, said Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID-19: 

  • 5.5 million from Beijing's Sinovac Biotech, including 1 million that arrived on Sunday and another 1 million doses expected on June 10 
  • 4.2 million from vaccine-sharing COVAX Facility, including 2 million Pfizer shots arriving on June 10, and 2 million AstraZeneca doses
  • 250,000 Moderna doses ordered by private sector 
  • 100,000 shots of Russia's Spuntik V vaccine 

Galvez, also the country's vaccine "czar", did not say how many COVID-19 shots would arrive in July.

But he said the Philippines could vaccinate 400,000 to 500,000 people daily by next month. 

Authorities could administer about 740,000 doses per day in August, when 15 to 17 million vaccines arrive, he added. 

"Dadagsa na po ang bulto ng ating mga bakuna... All in all, makaka-receive po tayo ng 30 to 40 million ngayong June, July, and August," Galvez said in a ceremony where about 50 essential workers were vaccinated against COVID-19. 

(The bulk of our vaccines will arrive. All in all, we will receive 30 to 40 million shots this June, July, and August.)

Economic and government workers are the fourth priority group in the vaccination drive, which started in March and has so far covered health workers, the elderly, and people with health risks. 

The Philippines has taken delivery of at least 9.329 million COVID-19 shots, of which nearly 6 million doses have been administered as of June 6. 

"Kung nariyan po ang bakuna sa inyong mga lugar... 'wag na kayong mag-atubiling magpabakuna. 'Wag na rin kayo mag-alala sa uri ng bakunang tinuturok sa inyo dahil ang lahat po ng ito, ligtas at epektibo," said Galvez. 

(If the vaccine is available in your area, do not hesitate to get inoculated. Do not worry about the brand because all these are safe and effective.) 

The government aims to vaccinate at least 58 million in the country to achieve herd immunity against COVID-19.

Almost 1.27 million COVID-19 cases have been recorded in the Philippines, as of June 6. The country's first confirmed infection was logged on Jan. 30 last year in a Chinese woman who arrived from Wuhan City, China where the disease is believed to have first emerged.

Video courtesy of PTV