According to the government’s COVID-19 task force testing czar Vince Dizon, the Philippines still needs more than 2 million vaccine doses to be able to immunize all healthcare workers.
In a briefing held on Thursday, Dizon noted that the country has a total of 1.7 million medical workers, which requires a total of 3.4 million doses for all of them to be covered.
“1.7 million po mahigit ang ating health workers sa buong bansa. Ang darating po sa atin ngayon kung kasama na ang AstraZeneca [vaccine] ay mahigit isang milyong doses pa lang so kailangan pa natin ng mga 2 million plus doses para maabot iyong 3.4 million plus na kakailanganin natin,” said Dizon.
Dizon then promised that the supply gap will be covered in the following months until May.
Early this week, around 600,000 doses of Sinovac’s CoronaVac were received by the government. 487,200 AstraZeneca vaccines, the initial shipment from the World Health Organization’s COVAX facility, are expected to arrive on Thursday evening.
The Philippines also expects to receive supplies from Pfizer, also under the COVAX facility.
Similar to what is being observed in the rollout of CoronaVac, the prioritization list will be followed for the administration of AstraZeneca, said Dizon.
He also noted that despite previous concerns on its efficacy, many hospital personnel are now willing to receive the Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccine. With the implementation of the government’s inoculation program, he is hoping that cases will now go down.
“Habang lumilipas ang mga araw, gumaganda po at tumataas ang kumpyansa [sa bakuna]…. Magtiwala po tayo sa bakuna dahil ito po talaga ang final na magiging solusyon natin para malampasan natin ang hamon na ito,” Dizon said.