The Department of Health (DOH) said half of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that are set to expire next month have already been administered.
DOH Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said one million AstraZeneca vaccines have been administered as first dose to eligible recipients.
Meanwhile, about 500,000 doses are being used as second dose for those who got their first shot last March, said Cabatoje. She noted that the interval of the first and second dose of AstraZeneca is set at 12 weeks.
“Mga almost 497,000 na lang ang kailangan nating maiturok as first dose sa month of June. So we are confident, by end of June ay nai-jab na itong ating remaining… as first doses,” she said.
Early this month, the Philippines received additional 2,030,400 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines through the World Health Organization-led COVAX Facility.
So far, more than 8 million COVID-19 vaccines have already been delivered to the Philippines since February.
As of May 26, Wednesday, 4,495,375 Filipinos have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Cabotaje said that they are still aiming to inoculate 70 million Filipinos before this year ends. She noted that the COVID-19 vaccination is currently focused on the National Capital Region and other high-risk COVID-19 areas.
“Naka-concentrate iyan sa NCR Plus para mas mapabilis – mass vaccination, population protection in geographic setting. So naka-limit sa certain geographic areas (That is concentrated on NCR Plus to speed up-mass vaccination, population protection in geographic setting. It’s limited to certain geographic areas),” she said.
Cabotaje said that their target still depends on the global supply of vaccines.
“If the supply will be good and the global market will improve and dadami ang supply, we will be able to give more and reach our initial target of 70 million by end of this year,” she said.