The Philippines has used nearly all of the 500,000 doses of CoronaVac vaccines that were part of the second batch of supply of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) jabs delivered by Chinese drugmaker Sinovac Biotech.
In a televised Cabinet meeting with President Duterte on Monday night, April 19, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., vaccine czar and chief implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19, said the second batch of CoronaVac vaccines were “almost consumed.”
“Ang first ano po delivery po ng Sinovac, ‘yong 500,000 noong April 11, almost consumed na po ito, Sir (The 500,000 [doses] first delivered by Sinovac last April 11 are almost consumed),” Galvez told Duterte.
The consumed 500,000 doses of CoronaVac vaccines were part of the 1.5 million doses that would be delivered in three tranches by Sinovac this month. Another 500,000 doses will be transported on April 22 and the shipment of the final 500,000 doses will be on April 29.
On March 29, Sinovac already turned over the first batch of procured COVID-19 vaccines consisting of one million doses.
These were all part of the total 25 million doses secured by the government from the Chinese firm, the delivery of which will be made in batches every month until December.
Despite initial apprehensions, the Sinovac vaccine has become a hit for the Filipinos and was among the most consistent source of jabs for the vaccine-starved country, Galvez said.
“Kung makikita po natin ‘yong Sinovac, ito po ang pinaka-steady supply po natin at saka po ‘yong Gamaleya (Sinovac has been the most steady supply of our [vaccines] as well as Gamaleya),” Galvez said.
“Ini-expect po natin na, sir sa June, July, August doon na po bubuhos po ‘yong ating mga na-order po na mga vaccine. Aabot po ng 10 to 15 million na po ang darating mga by August na po ‘yon. So ‘yon po ang prediction po natin (We are expecting that the bulk of our ordered vaccines will come in June, July, August. Up to 10 to 15 million [doses] will arrive by August. That’s our prediction),” he added.
As of April 19, Galvez said a total of 1,279,223 Filipinos have already been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Meanwhile, a total of 1,477,757 vaccine doses were already administered — the third highest among 10 member-states in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) that have started vaccinating its population. It is tailing Indonesia with 16,740,076 doses administered and Singapore with 1,667,522 doses given.
A total of 965,960 healthcare frontliners have received their first dose while 198,534 have been inoculated with a second dose. Further, 132,948 senior citizens and 180,312 persons with co-morbidities were injected with their first dose.