The Philippines has administered a total of 5,455,346 doses in June alone, allowing it to hit the 12-million mark in vaccinations against the coronavirus disease 2019.
“Our record shows that we had 5.4 million in just a month and we are now moving toward more than one million in just five days of July. This proves the increasing vaccination capacity of our local government units and those in the provinces,” National Task Force against Covid-19 chief implementer, Carlito Galvez Jr., reported to President Rodrigo Duterte late Tuesday.
Galvez, also the vaccine czar, said the country’s vaccination program is running smoothly despite the limited vaccine supply.
“We have recorded the highest output during the weekends, this week because of the increased capacity in some places and deployment of supply in other areas in the Visayas, Luzon and Mindanao,” he said.
Meanwhile, Galvez apologized for the delay in the delivery of Covid-19 jabs that has been affecting the speed of the vaccination program.
“We apologize for the uncontrollable delay on our deliveries that slowed down our vaccine rollout,” he added.
The supposed delivery of the 170,000 doses of Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine in the Philippines last night was deferred anew due to logistical issues.
So far, the Philippines has received a total of 17,455,470 Covid-19 vaccine doses.
The government is expecting the arrival of 1,124,100 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines donated by the Japanese government today, followed by the delivery of 2,028,000 doses of AstraZeneca jabs from the World Health Organization-led Covax Facility tomorrow.
Galvez said the country may receive more or less 16 million doses this month, including the 3,024,000 single-shot doses of Janssen vaccines, developed by Johnson & Johnson.
He added the Philippines is slated to get 14 million doses next month, bringing the total number of Covid-19 vaccines in the country to 47 million doses by the end of August.
Duterte, meanwhile, has condemned the illegal sale of vaccines against the Covid-19.
The National Bureau of Investigation earlier announced that three individuals, including a nurse, were arrested for the alleged sale of 300 doses of the Sinovac vaccine on July 2.
“This is very alarming. We condemn these acts, and we will not allow perpetrators to go unpunished. I order every relevant authority to investigate this matter thoroughly and press charges accordingly,” Duterte said in a pre-recorded public address aired early yesterday.
He warned against engaging in the illegal sale of Covid-19 vaccines, noting that he was “extra sensitive” to matters that involve the health and safety of Filipinos.
“Don’t do that because I’m extra sensitive about matters like that. Everyone knows it. Especially because it’s supposed to be for everyone. Only a small percent of the population is rich, most of them are poor,” the President said.
He explained that Covid-19 vaccines are not yet allowed to be sold because they are currently not available for commercial use.
“You are not allowed to buy. The government will take care of that. So do not press your luck too far. You might regret it. That is my warning to you,” he said.
Duterte said rich or poor, everyone should be given free Covid-19 jabs.
“The Covid-19 vaccines given by the government are not for sale. They are given to our poor people for free. Not only to the poor but to the rich so they opt to have vaccinations in the vaccination centers,” he said.
The government aims to achieve population protection by yearend by vaccinating 40 percent to 50 percent of the population, especially in priority areas.*PNA