MANILA – The Philippines breached the 200-million mark of Covid-19 vaccine doses arrival following the delivery of two shipments on Monday.
Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. confirmed deliveries have reached 202,660,355, counting the 587,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine donated by Germany that arrived Monday afternoon and the 1,187,550 doses of government-procured Pfizer-BioNTech jabs scheduled later in the night.
On Sunday, 105,300 doses of Pfizer vaccines similarly purchased by the government were shipped to Davao.
“On behalf of the National Task Force against Covid-19 and the Vaccine Cluster, I am pleased to inform the Filipino people that vaccine deliveries to the country have now breached the 200 million mark,” Galvez said in a statement.
The national vaccine tracker also showed that 105,412,678 doses have been administered nationwide, with 47,169,454 as second doses and 1,376,441 as booster or additional shots.
By the end of the year, doses are expected to reach 217.34 million, both procured and donated.
“The supply is more than enough to completely inoculate at least 100 million Filipinos nationwide, including the administration of booster shots or additional doses for qualified individuals,” said Galvez.
The vaccine czar sent his deepest gratitude to all those who supported the country’s efforts to secure safe, effective, and sufficient Covid-19 vaccines.
“From the esteemed members of our Vaccine Expert Panel for choosing the best vaccines to be included in our portfolio; to our multilateral partners which include the Asian Development Bank, World Bank, and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank for ensuring our efficient and transparent vaccine procurement; to the various vaccine manufacturers that made sure small and developing countries like the Philippines received a fair share of their production; to the World Health Organization and all donor countries — United States and EU (European Union) member nations such as Germany, France, Spain, Austria, the Netherlands, and Sweden; and various global organizations for supporting the COVAX-GAVI initiative that guaranteed our country equitable access to life-saving doses; to our bilateral partners such as China, Japan, UK, UAE, Brunei, Russia, Australia, Poland, South Korea, and Argentina which directly shipped their donations to the Philippines; and to our ever reliable private sector partners and local government units for pooling their resources to allow the country to purchase more vaccines, maraming, maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat (Thank you very much),” Galvez said.
Galvez personally inspected the donated Moderna vaccines, the sixth delivery from Germany through the COVAX Facility for a total of 11 million doses.
Alexander Schmidt, German Embassy acting deputy head of mission, also witnessed the arrival.
He said by the end of the year, Germany would have donated 100 million doses to the Philippines and other countries.
“2021 was a difficult year for all of us. We have seen that the fight against the virus is not a short sprint but rather a marathon but the successful vaccination campaign is the best chance that we have and we need to work together in this,” he said in an interview.
Galvez and Schmidt were joined by United Nations Children’s Fund deputy representative for operations Thomas Meyerer, Alicia Peña of the European Union, Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Jaime Ledda, and Health Undersecretary Ma. Carolina Vidal-Taiño.
No to complacency
Galvez likewise assured that the government has placed necessary measures to mitigate the impact of the Omicron coronavirus variant and limit its local transmissions.
“We will remain relentless in containing the spread of the virus, as we strengthen our health care system,” he said.
The highly transmissible Omicron variant is now spreading in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia.
The Philippines has four confirmed cases of the new variant.
Galvez repeated the continuous reminder to adhere to minimum public health standards and get Covid-19 jabs as soon as possible, “as we all welcome a healthy and more prosperous New Year.” (PNA)