MANILA— The Calabarzon region will get around 20 million COVID-19 shots between next month and the last quarter of the year, Malacañang said on Thursday, after a governor appealed for higher vaccine allocation with the spike in infections.
Palace spokesman Harry Roque noted that Metro Manila is close to vaccinating 50 percent of its target population.
Given this, he said, "Talaga naman pong pinaplano ng gobyerno na... karamihan na po ng mga bakuna, ipapadala natin doon sa mga karatig-probinsya ng Metro Manila, 'yong "plus" areas, pati na rin po doon sa mga lugar na nagsu-surge."
(The government is really planning to deploy most of the vaccines to provinces near Metro Manila, the "plus" areas, and areas with a surge in cases.)
South of Manila and home to some 16 million people, Calabarzon will get 3.8 million COVID-19 shots in September and another 17.4 million doses in the fourth quarter of the year, which is the "biggest allocation" out of all regions, Roque said.
"You can see na in the last quarter, magkakaroon po kayo ng (you will have) almost 20 million dosages good for 10 million," he said in a press briefing.
Meanwhile, Metro Manila will receive about 1 million jabs next month and another 4 million doses in the fourth quarter. Central Luzon will get almost 17 million doses, said the official.
"Inasaahan po nating makakahabol po ang 'plus areas' sa Metro Manila," Roque said.
(We expect that the plus areas will catch up to Metro Manila.)
GOVERNOR ASKS: IS THIS SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST?
Video courtesy of PTV
Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla earlier Thursday said his province required at least 6 million COVID-19 shots to inoculate 70 percent of its residents. But he said Cavite has only received about 1 million doses, and recently, an additional 4,000 shots a day good for only 15 days.
"Sa 4,000 doses a day ay tinatayang aabot po tayo sa mahigit 770 na araw o 25 months bago matapos ang buong vaccination program," Remulla said in a Facebook post.
"Ano ito matira ang matibay?" he added.
(At 4,000 a day, we will take 770 days or 25 months to complete the whole vaccination program. What is this, survival of the fittest?)
The governor added that while Cavite has allocated a P2.5-billion budget to buy vaccines, these must be procured through a tripartite deal with the national government, which remains unsigned.
"The LGU's hands are tied as they are prohibited and blocked from making their own choice of procurement," said Remulla.
"Ako po ay patuloy na nakikiusap na pahintulutan na sana kaming mga LGU na umangkat ng sarili naming vaccine supply. Wala po akong nakikitang rason para harangan ang aming layunin na siguraduhing ligtas ang kalusugan at buhay ng aming mga kalalawigan," he added.
(I continue asking that LGUs be permitted to import our own vaccine supply. I see no reason to hamper our goal to ensure that the health and lives of our constituents are safe.)
Among the hardest hit by the pandemic in Asia, the Philippines aims to vaccinate up to 70 million of its 109 population before the year ends to achieve herd immunity and safely reopen the economy. At least 13.3 million people are now fully inoculated.
But millions remain vulnerable to the highly contagious Delta COVID-19 variant, the community transmission of which is linked to a spike in infections.
The health department has so far confirmed about 1.8 million COVID-19 cases and 32,000 deaths.