AN additional 2.2 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine from the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility will be arriving in the Philippines later this May, according to vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr.
“Yung next delivery ng Pfizer, more or less sa 2.2 million (The next delivery of Pfizer, more or less 2.2 million [doses]) I was informed yesterday is before the end of the month,” Galvez said Thursday, May 13.
According to him, the country had logistics rehearsals for the handling of more Pfizer vaccine doses.
“Meron kaming arrangement with [United Nations Children’s Fund] na diretso na kaagad sa Davao, diretso na kaagad sa Cebu at diretso na sa mga areas na paglalagakan natin ng Pfizer para wala po tayong double handling,” added Galvez.
The Philippines on Monday, May 10, received an initial batch of 193,050 Pfizer jabs.
According to Philippine Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, the Pfizer doses will be used on priority groups under A1 (health care workers), A2 (elderly), and A3 (persons with comorbidities).
“We thank the COVAX Facility and all of our partners for making this possible. We will continue to boost public confidence in our national vaccination program,” he added.
The vaccines were then distributed to Metro Manila and other areas which can accommodate the product’s storage requirements of -70 to -80°C.
On Wednesday, the country started its rollout of the Pfizer vaccines, with the cities of Makati and San Juan among the first local government units to dispense the vaccine to their residents.
The Philippine government is eyeing to vaccinate at least 25 million Filipinos within the third quarter of the year.
“Our target is we should have a better Christmas this year. So our strategy is to achieve the 25 million, the most vulnerable,” said Galvez.
“If we (vaccinate) them, we can contain death and the fatalities. We have low and high targets wherein once we achieve the 25 million, at least we will have what is called the initial herd containment,” he added. n