NTF says at least 50 million more COVID shots to arrive in PH
MANILA - The Philippines has received over a hundred million COVID-19 vaccine jabs since the country opened its inoculation program in March, the National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF) said on Friday.
The country now has a total 100,528,240 accepted virus shots, of which 58,212,187 have already been administered, data collated by the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group (IRG) showed.
This leaves the country with 42,316,053 available doses ready to be administered, data from ABS-CBN's research and data analytics teams noted.
“This achievement is not only a product of a nation’s people working together, but is also a testament of the strong cooperation among international and multilateral partners and stakeholders to save lives and humanity,” vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez, Jr. said.
Galvez also expressed his gratitude to the private sector and local government units for helping forge tripartite agreements with manufacturers as COVID-19 vaccine supplies remain limited globally.
“The pooling of resources was an effective strategy to ensure our vaccine allocations from various manufacturers, and assure their timely delivery to the country,” he added.
According to ABS-CBN Data Analytics head Edson Guido, government and private sector-bought COVID-19 shots make up the biggest chunk of the country's vaccine inventory at 70,660,820, followed by donations from the World Health Organization-led vaccine sharing platform COVAX at 24,330,280.
The directly donated COVID-19 shots from other countries, meanwhile, is at 5,537,140.
Vaccine jabs from China-based Sinovac comprise nearly half of the country's vaccine supply at 44.5 million, 2 million of which were donated by Beijing, data showed.
Government and the private sector were able to order some 193 million doses this year, some of which would be delivered "in the first quarter of 2022," according to the statement.
MORE VACCINE DOSES TO ARRIVE
Galvez said between 50 to 60 million COVID-19 jabs are expected to arrive in the country until the end of the year.
The COVAX facility, meanwhile, will deliver 10 million more shots from December until January of next year.
This includes donations from the United States government of 2 million additional doses next week, as confirmed by US Embassy Chargé d'Affaires Heather Variava.
“We are expecting the arrival of two million [doses] more vaccines next week that will bring the donations through the COVAX facility to 26 million [doses] and about 18 million of those will be from direct donations from the United States,” according to Variava.
Because of this, Galvez urged local governments to conduct house-to-house vaccination against COVID-19 to scale up the country's vaccination program.
"The NTF has also directed LGUs to conduct house-to-house vaccinations in their localities to ramp up their daily vaccination rates," the task force's statement read.
“We look forward to in the next few days, by November, we will be able to reduce our storage inventory to at least 20 million doses,” Galvez said.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) earlier said the government still aims to reach 70 percent of the country's population fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of the year.
This, even if an official from the Department of Health said that it would be impossible to reach the target, as authorities could most likely inoculate at least 50 percent of the eligible population by yearend.
Philippine authorities have expanded the country's inoculation program to include the pediatric population, or individuals aged 12 to 17.
The said sector numbers 12.7 million, according to the DOH.
As of Thursday, the country has so far fully vaccinated 26.8 million individuals, while 31.4 million are partially inoculated from the disease.
On Monday night, Galvez also told President Rodrigo Duterte in a meeting that "more or less 50 percent" of the population may be vaccinated already by the end of December.
The country's new COVID-19 cases dipped in recent weeks, with fresh infections counting fewer than 4,000 for the last 2 days.