MANILA – The government-procured 753,480 doses of Pfizer vaccine that arrived in the country Wednesday night will be distributed to areas outside the National Capital Region (NCR) with high numbers of coronavirus cases, an adviser of the National Task Force Against Covid-19 (NTF) said.
NTF special adviser Dr. Teodoro Herbosa, who welcomed the arrival of 650,520 doses of the 753,480 Pfizer vaccine at the NAIA Terminal 3 in Pasay City, said the Philippines is expecting more arrivals this month and in October.
“There are many more coming. Pfizer is delivering at the last part of September almost 5 million doses of vaccines both from donation and from COVAX as well,” he said in a press briefing shortly after the arrival of the American-made vaccine.
Of the 753,480 doses, a total of 650,520 doses were sent to the PharmaServ cold storage facility in Marikina City, 51,480 doses went to Cebu, and another 51,480 doses for delivery to Davao City on Sept. 16.
“We are expecting a lot more doses this month to feed our vaccine rollout and again in October, there will be more vaccines that will be arriving. So we should have no problem with supply, it’s really being able to distribute them and inoculate all the vaccinees as much as possible,” Herbosa added.
The Philippines is expecting to reach or even surpass the 40-million mark of vaccinated Filipinos this week, after seven months since the start of the vaccination rollout in March.
“Yesterday, we’re at 39 million total doses administered -- 17 million adult Filipinos are fully vaccinated and the other one, 22 million have at least one dose. We are vaccinating at a pace of 3 million a week. So by the end of this week, you will add more vaccinees there, and, within this week, we’ll probably skip the 40 million mark already,” Herbosa added.
Herbosa said the newly arrived Pfizer vaccines would be allocated to the regions outside the NCR that have the capacity to keep the Pfizer vaccines in the required ultralow temperature storage.
Out of the 187.6 million doses secured by the Philippines from different manufacturers and sources for 2021, 56,794,130 doses have been delivered, according to the NTF Against Covid-19.
Saptarshi Basu, the economic officer of the US Embassy in Manila assured the continued support of the US government to the country's vaccination program.
“Broadly speaking, the United States is very proud of our partnership with the Philippines on public health in the fight against Covid-19. We’re all on it together. I think that has been said many times before and we’ll continue to support the Philippines both in terms of vaccine delivery but also in terms of public health more broadly,” he said.
Aside from the US, the country also imports vaccines from other countries such as China, United Kingdom, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates.
The Covid-19 vaccines the Philippines use include Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Sputnik V, Moderna and Janssen. (PNA)