Gov’t resets goal of 500,000 COVID-19 vaccinations daily for Q3 of 2021
MANILA, Philippines — The government should be doing around 500,000 COVID-19 vaccinations daily by the third quarter of 2021 as more doses are set to arrive in the country from various sources, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., the country’s vaccine manager, said during the taped briefing with President Rodrigo Duterte that aired Monday night.
“We’re hoping that in the third quarter we will go up to 500,000 [injections] per day,” Galvez said, speaking partly in Filipino. “We’re like a vehicle, Mr. President. In March and in April, we were like in first and second gear. In May, we went into third a bit.”
“This June, this is what we call our cruising speed. We are now speeding up as we go into fourth and fifth gear. This is when we will raise our jabs per day, and we can readily do, 500,000 to 740,000 per day,” he added.
According to Galvez, the government can expect more people to get vaccinated because it’s expecting 9.950 million doses from various pharmaceutical companies like Sinovac, Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Gamaleya.
So far, he said, the government has received 4.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines — with at least 5.5 million more doses expected to be delivered this June.
Last March 23, Galvez himself made the same projection of 500,000 vaccinations daily, but he made the projection for April or May.
That was his reaction to criticisms about the government’s slow rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, saying it was then still prioritizing health workers.
As of Sunday, May 30, the government had so far administered 5.18 million vaccine doses to 3.974 million individuals, of whom 1.206 million had received their second dose.
Those were the figures released on Monday by the Department of Health (DOH), the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), and the National Task Force Against COVID-19.
The Philippines is banking heavily on COVID-19 vaccines to restart the economy and usher in herd immunity by the end of the year. However, the country is facing an uphill challenge as vaccine confidence among Filipinos remains low.
Last November 2020, a survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations showed that only 66% of Filipinos expressed willingness to be vaccinated against COVID-19, should vaccines become available — a number which went down in a more recent survey, which showed that only 32% of the respondents were willing to be vaccinated.
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