20M more Filipinos must be vaccinated to boost PH herd immunity

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MANILA – If the country intends to meet its herd immunity targets, it must vaccinate 20 million people in the adolescent and pediatric age groups.

The National Task Force against Covid-19 Chief Implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. led the welcome ceremony for the 2 million doses of Sinovac Covid-19 vaccines at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 in Pasay City at 7:20 a.m. on Monday.

“If we want upgrade herd immunity by scale to 80-90 (percent), we need to vaccinate 20 million from the adolescent and pediatric,” he said in a media interview.

However, Galvez stated that individuals ages 18 and up must be vaccinated first, as advised by the Philippine Medical Association and the head of the Pediatrics Society in a meeting last Sunday.

“Ang kanilang recommendation ay unahin muna natin yun 18 (years old) and above, pag natapos na ang 18 (years old) and above natin we can proceed (to the) 17 (years old) and below (Their recommendation is to vaccinate first the 18 years old and above and once this is completed, we can proceed to the 17 years old and below),” he said.

Galvez, who is also a vaccine czar, stated that boosting the country’s Covid-19 vaccine coverage will aid in combating the threats posed by the rapidly spreading Delta variant.

Previously, the government intended to immunize 70% of the adult population.

While no date has been established for the vaccination of adolescent and pediatric individuals, Galvez noted that dependents of health care workers (A-1) and those with comorbidities (A-2) will be prioritized once it begins.

Galvez revealed that 56.7 million of various Covid-19 vaccines had been supplied in the country thus far, complimenting Sinovac and China for their “extremely steady supplies” of the life-saving vaccines.

He stated that the latest supply of 2 million Sinovac jabs is part of the 12 million doses scheduled for September, which were negotiated and obtained from the Chinese vaccine manufacturer.

The majority of the Chinese-made vaccines received on Monday will be distributed to Regions 3 (Central Luzon), 4-A Calabarzon, 6, (Western Visayas), 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula), 11 (Davao), and other “surge areas” along with 151 highly urbanized cities.

Another 10 million Sinovac doses are anticipated to be distributed by October, according to Galvez.

“And then later, we will have (more) deliveries of more Pfizer, AstraZeneca and also Moderna,” he added.

He stated that 5.5 million doses of Pfizer vaccine will be distributed through the COVAX Facility in the later part of September.

House committees to hold hearings during break

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Spread the loveMANILA – The House of Representatives has authorized for its committees to conduct hearings during the five-week congressional break, extending until late April.