(PNA photo by Robert Oswald Alfiler)

MANILA – An adviser of the National Task Force Against Covid-19 on Wednesday assured the public that the country has enough supply of Covid-19 vaccines as the government started the rollout of second booster shots.

In a televised public briefing, Dr. Ted Herbosa said the Philippines received over 254 million doses of donated and purchased jabs and administered about 145 million doses.

"So, almost 90 million 'yung stockpile natin. Of course, nababawasan iyan kada araw kase nakakabakuna tayo ng mga 200,000 everyday pa rin para sa first dose, second dose at booster na tuloy-tuloy naman (almost 90 million [doses] are our stockpile, of course, it is depleting because we vaccinate 200,000 every day for the first dose, second dose, and booster continuously)," Herbosa said.

Earlier, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III told President Rodrigo Duterte that the COVAX Facility will replace 3.6 million doses of near expiry Covid-19 vaccines.

Duque said the near expiry jabs, which amount to only 1.6 percent of the nation's vaccine supply, were donated to the country through the COVAX Facility.
Herbosa said the vaccination activities nationwide slowed down when the year started.

"Dati noong November, December nasa (Last November, December it's around) 800,000 to one million a day and during special vaccination days, 1.5 million [a day]," he said.

He urged fully vaccinated individuals to receive their booster shots for additional protection against the severe type of Covid-19 or death from it.

As of April 26, the National Vaccination Operations Center reported there are 51,476,898 fully vaccinated individuals who are due to receive the first booster dose.

About 13,043,715 or 25.34 percent of them have been boosted.

The Food and Drug Administration has issued emergency use authorization for the administration of second boosters for the immunocompromised, the senior citizens, and frontline healthcare workers.

However, the Health Technology Assessment Council has only recommended the administration of second booster doses to the immunocompromised only as it still reviewing pertinent data concerning the senior citizens and frontline healthcare workers. (PNA)