The government is aiming to accelerate its vaccination drive with the country’s vaccine supply possibly jumping up to 20 million shots by June and July.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque presented the government’s vaccination plan as he voiced confidence anew that the country could attain herd immunity this year. This month alone, Roque said the country’s vaccine stocks are expected increase to 7 million with the arrival of more supplies.
At present, the country has 5.5 million coronavirus shots, including the 1.5 million Sinovac doses that arrived in Manila Friday, May 7. Two million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from the global vaccine distribution facility are expected to arrive Saturday.
“Ibig sabihin po nito, tapos na iyong buwan ng Abril kung saan apat na milyon lamang ang nakuha nating bakuna or mas mababa pa nga. Pero ngayon po, dadami na po ang mga bakuna natin at pagdating po ng June at saka July inaasahan natin eh nasa neighborhood ng 20 million na po ang pagbabakuna (This means that from 4 million doses we received last April, we will get more vaccines and by June and July, we expect our vaccination will reach 20 million),” Roque said during a televised press briefing Friday, May 7.
With more supplies coming in, the government is sticking to its timeframe to reach herd immunity, or majority of people can’t contract or transmit the virus.
“Mabuting balita po ito dahil mukhang matutupad naman iyong ninanais nating herd immunity unang-una dito sa Metro Manila at sa mga karatig probinsiya at saka siyempre po iyong herd immunity sa buong Pilipinas bago po matapos ang taon na ito (This is good news beacause it looks like we will achieve herd immunity first in Metro Manila and nearby provinces and herd immunity in the entire Philippines before the end of the year),” he added.
Based on the government’s plan, the country is expected to receive around 140 million doses of coronavirus vaccines to inoculate 70 million Filipinos and achieve herd immunity by 2021. So far, 1.7 million Filipinos have been inoculated since the vaccination drive started last March.
Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. earlier announced that the country is expected to receive 10.4 million vaccine doses by June, including supplies from Moderna, Sputnik V, Sinovac, and AstraZeneca. By July, 13.5 million vaccine shots are expected to be delivered to the country.
President Duterte earlier admitted that the limited vaccine supply, not the government’s pandemic response, was the country’s main problem. He said while the government has managed to secure vaccines, the preventive drugs will arrive in the country “in trickles” due to the world’s tight supply.