Gov’t eyes to vaccinate all health workers in March
MANILA, Philippines — The government is eyeing to vaccinate all healthcare workers in March, National Task Force Against Covid-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said on Monday.
“Ang pangako po namin at least ngayong March pipilitin na matapos ‘yung mga health workers, lahat ng health workers nationwide,” he said in a press briefing at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) where the government officially started its Covid-19 vaccination program.
(We vow to finish vaccinating all health workers nationwide this March.)
The Philippines received its first shipment of Covid-19 vaccines on Sunday – 600,000 doses of China-based drugmaker Sinovac Biotech’s CoronaVac donated by the Chinese government.
Galvez said one million more doses of the Sinovac vaccine will arrive in the country this month, which will be used to inoculate health workers nationwide.
The Philippines has earlier secured 25 million doses of Sinovac vaccines.
Galvez said the vaccines will be shipped to Visayas and Mindanao since the President ordered the decentralization of the vaccination drive.
“Ang sabi ng Pangulo natin, ‘wag lang i-concentrate sa isang area kailangan lahat walang maiiwan, walang iiwanan,” he said.
(The President said not to concentrate the vaccinations in one area so that no one is left behind.)
“So, geographically, sabi niya bigyan din ang Visayas at Mindanao at ang lahat ng mga lugar na apektado ng mga rise ng mga cases,” Galvez added.
(So, geographically, the President said the vaccines should be delivered to the Visayas and Mindanao and all areas affected by the rising number of Covid-19 cases.)
Meanwhile, the Philippines is waiting for the shipment of the first batch of doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which was scheduled to arrive on Monday but was delayed by a week due to global supply issues.
The government is expecting 3.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the World Health Organization-led Covax facility in the first quarter of 2021.
“We hope ‘yung understanding na talagang mahirap yung global supply and hopefully yung commitment ng Covax ay kanilang macommit this 1st quarter,” Galvez said.
(We hope for understanding that there is a difficulty in global supply and that Covax can meet their first quarter of the year commitment.)
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