President Rodrigo Roa Duterte leads the Philippine government in receiving the 487,200 doses of AstraZeneca Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines at the Villamor Air Base (VAB) in Pasay City on March 4, 2021.
The arrival of AstraZeneca vaccines marks the first round of allocated doses from the COVAX Facility and the second batch of vaccine shipment that already arrived in the Philippines.
President Duterte views the crates containing the vaccine doses and inspects the actual vaccine vials during the ceremonial turnover of the AstraZeneca vaccines to the government.
COVAX is the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator – a global collaboration to accelerate the development, production and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatment and vaccines.
It is co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), alongside the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) as key delivery partner. Its primary aim is to accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines, as well as to guarantee fair and equitable access for every nation in the world.
With the arrival of 487,200 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from COVAX facility, the government targets to inoculate all health care workers nationwide from March through early April of this year.
Secretary Carlito G. Galvez, Jr., National Task Force against COVID-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar said that the first tranche of the vaccine doses committed by the COVAX facility to the country for the first quarter has been specifically allocated for senior citizen medical frontliners and healthcare workers.
“Ang target po natin, as soon as possible, kailangan mabakunahan po natin ang ating mga health care workers kasi ‘yun po ang directive ng ating mahal na Pangulo, na kailangan protektado po sila,” he said.
To date, 32 hospitals throughout the country have started their vaccine roll-out including health facilities in Region IV-A and Cebu.
Around 200,000 Sinovac vaccine doses have been deployed in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
According to Galvez, roughly 10,000 health care workers have already been inoculated and the government targets to deploy all 600,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines within the week in order to inoculate 70 to 80 percent of all health care workers within the month.
Meanwhile, one million doses of Sinovac vaccines are expected to arrive in the third week of March 2021. (PIA)