The Department of Health (DOH) said it is eyeing to fully roll-out the Sinovac vaccines to priority groups in two to three weeks.
“We are looking at two weeks for us to be able to roll it out properly and then we will have the next two weeks to monitor if there would still be a quick substitution list that will be used,” said DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel on Monday, March 1.
“Basically in two to three weeks, we will be able to utilize this because we already had a plan of rolling it out, hospitals had been advised already and they are prepared and we start the rollout today,” she added.
On Sunday, Feb. 28, the Philippines received 600,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines that were donated by the Chinese government.
The tally of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the country hit 578,381 after the DOH logged more than 2,000 new cases on Monday, March 1.
In its latest case bulletin, the DOH said around 2,037 more people tested positive for the viral disease, raising the number of active cases in the country to 31,708.
Of the active cases, 89.3 percent have exhibited mild symptoms, five percent were asymptomatic, 2.5 percent were in critical condition, 2.3 percent were severe cases, and 0.89 percent were in moderate condition.
The DOH said 86 new patients have recovered from COVID-19, pushing the recovery count to 534,351
However, four more patients died, which raised the country’s death toll to 12,322.
As the Philippines rolled out its COVID-19 vaccination program, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III reminded the public not to be complacent and continue to practice the minimum public health standards.
“Hindi tayo maging pwedeng pabaya…Wala pang datos na nakakapagpakita na (We cannot be complacent… There is no data yet to show) the vaccines can actually serve as a barrier to transmission. There is not enough data to support that theory,” he said.
“Ang kanilang magandang epekto (Their good effect) is they will prevent you or reduce symptomatic cases and asymptomatic cases as well —to prevent progression to severe disease and therefore prevent hospitalization and prevent death,” he added.