PH boosts vax drive with purchase of 20M more Pfizer jabs

By Lade Jean Kabagani

November 28, 2021, 5:21 pm Updated on November 28, 2021, 8:36 pm

<p><em>(File photo)</em></p>

(File photo)

MANILA – The government has already closed a deal for the procurement of additional 20 million doses of the United States-made Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccines.

The vaccines will be used for pediatric vaccination and booster shots of priority sectors, according to National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 chief implementer, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., during a virtual presser on Sunday.

"So yung ating 40 million [doses] po na una nating napirmahan ay nadagdagan po ito ng 20 million. Naging 60 million na (Our initial contract for 40 million doses has been increased to 60 million with the additional 20 million)," he said.

The government started pediatric vaccination for the 12-17 age group mid-October, followed by the administration of booster and additional doses to health care workers (A1), senior citizens (A2), and immunocompromised individuals (A3) this month.

About 12,722,070 minors will be covered under the pediatric vaccination rollout, of which 1,272,207 have comorbidities.

"’Yung children vaccination talagang tatapusin natin (We are targeting to finish the vaccination of children) by end of December," said Galvez, noting that more than 4 million minors have been vaccinated against Covid-19 to date.

The vaccination of about 30.7 million aged 5 to 11 years old will commence after the approval of the emergency use authorization, most likely "by end of December or maybe by the first week of January".

The Philippines has so far received 142,153,340 doses of Covid-19 vaccines, both procured and donated, since February.

The total includes the 547,100 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, donated by Poland, that arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 in Pasay on Sunday afternoon.

As of November 27, a total of 81,017,994 vaccine doses have been administered nationwide while 35,557,409 Filipinos are now fully vaccinated, or 46.10 percent of the country’s target population of 77.1 million. (PNA)