MANILA — A total of 301,860 additional doses of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines arrived in the country Monday night.
The vaccines, which arrived aboard an Air Hong Kong flight, were donated by the United States government through the World Health Organization and the UN-backed COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access facility (COVAX).
National Task Force Against COVID-10 Sub-Task Group chief assistant secretary Wilben Mayor thanked the US government for the donation, which he said will be a great help in vaccinating frontline health workers, senior citizens, persons with comorbidities, and the poor.
"Ang COVAX kasi meron siyang specific na category distribution or allocation provided by WHO. So 'yun ang i-observe natin in as much as dumaan ito sa COVAX. But again malaking bagay ito kasi kasama rito ang A1, A2, A3 and A5, ang mga indigent natin at ang mga frontliners. Napakalaking bagay na ito para sa atin," he said.
Mayor expects the WHO and local experts to release guidelines on the distribution of COVID-19 booster shots before the end of the year.
“Within this year naman. 'Di naman aabot tayo next year."
Frontline healthcare workers, senior citizens, and individuals with comorbidities will be the priority once the distribution of booster shots starts. However, he assured the public that nobody will be left out.
"With the arrival ng maraming vaccines sa atin, dito sa ating bansa, definitely maabot din ang ibang category ng ating mga kababayan," he said.
Mayor said over 123.5 million COVID-19 vaccines have arrived in the Philippines.
The country has so far fully vaccinated against COVID-19 some 31.57 million people or 40.93 percent of its target population, Roque said on Monday.
The widening vaccination coverage is being cited as among main reasons for the decline in new cases in the country observed since October.