MANILA — While the Philippines has secured an adequate amount of COVID-19 shots, logistical problems are delaying their distribution to various regions, an official leading the vaccination drive said.
"Noong dati po, supply po ang problema po natin. Ngayon po ang problema po natin 'yung throughput, kung paano po natin ia-administer 'yung mga vaccine," Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. told President Rodrigo Duterte in a taped meeting that aired in the wee hours of Wednesday.
(Previously, the supply was our problem. Now, our problem is the throughput, how we will administer the vaccines.)
After experiencing a shortage of vaccines in March and September, the Philippines has now secured a stockpile of about 39 million jabs, said Galvez, chief implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID-19.
But he noted that the deployment of these vaccine doses to various inoculation sites take about 7 to 9 days.
"Ina-address na po natin 'yong (we are addressing the) logistical challenge at the regional, provincial, and municipal deployment and administration," said Galvez, who also serves as vaccine "czar."
The Philippines has tallied some 2.7 million overall coronavirus infections, among the highest in Asia. The country has so far fully vaccinated at least 24 million of its 109 million population.
The government wants to vaccinate at least 50 million people by Christmas.