The COVAX Facility’s shipment of 2.28 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine Thursday night marks the biggest in vaccines delivery to land on Philippine soil.
The vaccines arrived at the Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay around 8:47 PM.
MANILA — The vaccines will be administered to sectors A1 to A3 (health workers, senior citizens, and those with comorbidities) in the priority list of the Government’s vaccine program says Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.
“If we don’t vaccinate them we will encounter the same packed emergency rooms, unavailable intensive care units, and even hospital beds during the next surge,” says Secretary Duque in a statement. “I urge everyone to choose to be vaccinated when it’s their turn to protect themselves and their loved ones.”
Meanwhile, 210,000 Pfizer doses also landed at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport on the same night, also from the COVAX Facility, while 111,150 doses went to Davao. The metropolitan areas of Manila, Cebu, and Davao, are the areas in the country with the capacity to store the Pfizer-BioNTech jabs.
Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe, the World Health Organization’s representative to the country, says that while there has been huge progress on efforts, authorities have to accelerate vaccination on the elderly and those with health conditions.
“WHO urges the National Task Force and the local government units to establish mechanisms to increase accessibility to vaccination of the healthcare workers and elderly across the country,” he says.
To date, based on official tallies, the Philippines has administered over 6.31 doses of COVID-19 vaccine with 1.68 million Filipinos who have been fully vaccinated and 4.63 million who have received their first dose.
The Philippines received 193,000 doses as its first supply of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in May. The Government relies significantly on vaccines from the COVAX Facility and awaits the arrival of brands Moderna and AstraZeneca. It has also received purchased doses of the CoronaVac. and Sputnik V from Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute. (TC/The MiNT)