FIRST DOSE. An employee of the News and Information Bureau receives his first dose of the Sinovac jab at the Quezon City Hall on Saturday (June 19, 2021). Media companies are part of the A4 category. (PNA photo by Robert Oswald P. Alfiler)

MANILA – The Philippines has breached the eight-million mark in the number of Covid-19 jabs administered.

Data from the National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) showed that as of June 18, 2021, a total of 8,050,711 jabs have been administered nationwide.

Of the total, 5,953,810 were given as the first dose.

National Task Force Against Covid-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., who bared the data on Sunday, said there will be no letup in the national vaccination campaign.

“All sectors of society are working together so that we can start to move on from this pandemic, bring back a greater sense to our lives, and further open up our economy,” he said in a news release.

“Local government units (LGUs) and the private sector are playing key roles in this effort, as they ramp up the inoculation of their citizens and employees, respectively. They are really doing an amazing job and we would like to laud them for their hard work,” he added.

To date, 94.24 percent or 1,053,373 health care workers (A1) have been inoculated while in the senior citizens (A2) group, 1,939,599 have received their first dose and 536,476 are fully vaccinated.

For adults with comorbidities (A3), 2,005,206 have been given their first jabs while 498,925 have received both shots.

For the economic front-liners (A4), 452,600 were administered their first dose, while 8,127 are already fully vaccinated.

The vaccination of the A4 category began on June 7 but is limited to the National Capital Region (NCR), Metro Cebu, Metro Davao, Bulacan, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Pampanga, and Rizal where there are a significant number of Covid-19 cases.

At least 23,826 indigent residents were also given their first dose in select LGUs in NCR.

Upward trend

"We’re now seeing an upward trajectory in the vaccination throughput across all priority groups. This is a very good indication that vaccine hesitancy is being addressed and more Filipinos, especially our senior citizens, are now willing to get inoculated,” Galvez said.

“We are happy that the public uptake for Sinovac has also increased significantly. The steady supply of doses particularly of this brand, will enable us to fast-track the inoculation of the A4 priority group, as well as provide much-needed vaccines to emerging hotspots across the country,” he added.

The vaccine czar said the country recorded its highest daily vaccination rate of 322,929 jabs on June 15.

For two consecutive weeks this month, the country maintained a weekly jab rate of more than 1 million per week.

For June 12 to 18, a total of 1,252,234 doses were administered.

The country now has 3,991 vaccination sites. Since the rollout of the vaccination program in March, the NVOC has deployed 11,731,640 vaccine doses nationwide.

“We will sustain our momentum, as we expect a steady supply of vaccines in the coming weeks and months,” Galvez said.

Vaccine supply

As of June 19, the country has received a total of 14,205,870 doses purchased by the government and private sector, as well as those donated by foreign governments.

The vaccine brands are Sinovac, Sputnik, Pfizer, and AstraZeneca.

In the first three weeks of June, the country received 5,876,820 doses, consisting of 3.5 million Sinovac doses, 2,276,820 Pfizer doses from the COVAX Facility, and 100,000 Sputnik V doses.

Galvez said Sinovac already confirmed the delivery of another 1.5 million on June 24.

Some 250,000 Moderna doses, including those purchased by the private sector, have been confirmed to arrive on June 27.

The COVAX Facility will also be shipping 2,028,000 AstraZeneca doses in June, while 150,000 doses of Sputnik V (component 2) vaccines are scheduled to be delivered this month.

"We also expect to receive the US donation of vaccines before the end of June," Galvez bared.

Galvez said the government expects to receive 11,670,000 doses in July, including 4.5 million Sinovac shots, and 1 million doses each of Moderna and Sputnik V vaccines.

The initial shipment of 1.17 million AstraZeneca doses purchased by the private sector is also set to arrive in July.

COVAX facility is likewise scaling up its deliveries next month with 4 million doses of either AstraZeneca or Pfizer-BioNTech.

Israeli experts to visit PH

Galvez also bared that three experts from Israel’s Ministry of Health will arrive today to share their experiences on vaccine deployment.

“Their arrival in the Philippines will help us fine-tune our vaccination rollout. We want to learn from the best practices being implemented in Israel and hopefully, replicate and use them in crafting our country’s policies,” Galvez said.

He said that among the topics to be discussed during the consultation meeting will be the efficient rollout, safe handling of vaccines, and improved public uptake.

The Israeli delegation, which will stay until June 25, will meet with some of the Philippines’ top medical experts as well as visit some vaccination sites. (PR)