MANILA - The Philippines is set to receive fresh deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines amounting to more than 3 million doses until Saturday after 10 days of no new arrivals that caused lean supplies at vaccination sites, the government said Thursday.
One million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines donated by the Japanese government will arrive Thursday evening, with President Rodrigo Duterte expected to grace the event.
These vaccines may be used across the 5 priority groups, and will be deployed immediately by Friday, said vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez, Jr.
"Once nakuha na namin yung stock ngayong gabi, ide-deploy na po namin 'yan bukas," he said.
(One we receive the stock tonight, we will deploy it tomorrow.)
Another 2 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines from the COVAX facility will arrive on Friday afternoon, while 132,000 doses (Component 1 and Component II) of Sputnik V vaccines will arrive in the evening.
On Saturday, 37,800 Sputnik V doses (Component 1) are also scheduled to arrive.
Sinovac Biotech is also expected to deliver its next batch of COVID-19 vaccine by July 14.
Galvez mentioned that some 3 million doses donated by US-based manufacturer Johnson and Johnson may arrive this month, with its final delivery schedule to be set this week.
He said "realistically speaking," inoculating 70 million individuals with their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine by November is achievable.
The World Health Organization advocates for countries to inoculate 10 percent of their population by September, 40 percent by yearend, and 70 percent by June next year, according to its representative to the Philippines, Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe.
"Realistically speaking, yung 70 million na single dose kaya namin ‘yan. First dose, ‘yan ang target na makuha namin before November. Sa ngayon nakikita namin makukuha ‘yan," Galvez told ANC's Headstart.
(Realistically speaking, the 70 million of single doses, we can do it. First dose, that's our target before November. For now, we see that we can achieve that.)
He said the inter-agency task force on COVID-19 intentionally set "ambitious" goals so that even if it fails and achieves around half, it would still be close to the WHO target.
"Ginawa talaga namin na maging very ambitious so we can inspire and push the LGUs and the national government to its limit and its potentials. Nakikita namin na kaya," he said.
(We really made it very ambitious so we can inspire and push LGUs and the national government to its limit and potentials. We see that it's doable.)
Some 3 million individuals have so far received 2 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, or are fully vaccinated, as of July 7, according to Presidential spokesman Harry Roque.
- report from Vivienne Gulla, ABS-CBN News