MANILA – The shipment of three million doses of the Sinovac jab that arrived Sunday night will be part of the government's recalibrated vaccine deployment, focusing outside the National Capital Region (NCR).
National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 chief, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., said the government-procured jabs will be delivered to Regions 1, 4-A, 3, 6, 7, 9, and 11.
Galvez welcomed the China-made jabs with Department of Health Undersecretary Carolina Taiño at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 in Pasay City.
To date, the country has received 69,699,340 doses of various brands.
"Hopefully before the end of the month, we could reach at least 30 percent of our targeted population. That is, already fully vaccinated," Galvez said.
So far, the Philippines has already administered 43,815,426 doses nationwide -- 23,609,600 first shots and 20,205,826 second doses which represent about 26 percent of the target 70 million.
Galvez said the vaccination program slightly slowed down in recent weeks due to a spike in Covid-19 cases.
"Our daily average in vaccination slightly slowed down because the majority of our health care workers were reassigned in the Covid-19 [treatment] frontline," he said. "We see that our vaccination has been sacrificed because it is the bigger priority to save the lives of those in hospitals."
Once Covid-19 cases decrease, he said, the government will refocus on the vaccination program.
He added that medical students will be part of the recalibrated vaccination campaign.
"That's our priority because of these limited face-to-face classes and also they will become our future front-liners. If we lack health care professionals, maybe our students can take over in various vaccination drives," he said.
Galvez also cited the latest report from Malaysia that the Sinovac vaccine is highly effective against severe symptoms.
He emphasized though that all vaccines are safe and can prevent severe Covid-19 cases. (PNA)