SOME 117,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine will arrive in the Philippines next month, according to National Task Force Deputy Chief Implementer and Testing Czar Vince Dizon.
The batch of Pfizer jabs is under the COVAX Facility, a global initiative from the World Health Organization (WHO) that aims to ensure fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all countries.
“Nag-commit na po ang WHO na darating po iyong 117,000 doses ng Pfizer ngayong Abril, sa susunod na buwan (The WHO has committed that the 117,000 doses of Pfizer will arrive this April, next month),” Dizon said at the Laging Handa public briefing on Wednesday, March 10.
“Kaya malaking bagay din po ito lalung-lalo na para sa ating mga healthcare workers na priority nating matapos hanggang sa buwan ng Abril at Mayo (So this is also a big deal, especially for our healthcare workers who are our priority to get vaccinated by April and May),” he added.
The Philippines is set to receive at least 5.6 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca through the COVAX facility.
In January, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said the country will be provided with 117,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and 5,500,800 to 9,290,400 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The initial shipment of AstraZeneca vaccines containing 487,200 doses already arrived in the country on March 4.
Since the start of its vaccination campaign last week, the Philippines has so far administered around 44,000 doses to Filipino healthcare workers.
According to Dizon, the government aims to finish vaccinating all medical workers and senior citizens by April and May.
“Ang objective po natin ay by mid-year ay natapos na natin ang healthcare workers pati na rin ang ating mga senior citizen (Our objective is that by mid year, we have finished vaccinating our healthcare workers as well as our senior citizens),” he said.
He also said that some 3.4 million doses are needed to complete the vaccination of the country’s 1.7 million medical front-liners.
Meanwhile, the vaccination for the country’s general population will start once the vaccines from Moderna and other brands arrive in the Philippines.
“Pagdating po sana ng Moderna at ng ibang mga bakuna, magsisimula na tayo sa ating general population (When Moderna and other vaccines arrive, we will start with our general population),” said Dizon.