Lack of vaccine slowing down COVID-19 immunization drive, says Galvez

Published June 8, 2021, 3:04 AM

by Martin Sadongdong

The insufficiency of vaccines slowed down the immunization program of the national government against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. disclosed Monday night, June 7.

Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. bares on June 7, 2021 that the lack of vaccines slowed down the weekly output of the Philippines in its immunization program against COVID-19. (Screenshot courtesy of RTVM livestream)

Galvez said the lack of vaccine delivery from the fourth week of May to the first week of June resulted to a notable decrease in the seven-day moving average of the immunization program.

“Bumaba po ang ating average sa vaccination, considering na ang ating delivery ng last week ng May at saka first week of June ay naantala po (Our average in the vaccination [program] went down, considering that our delivery for the last week of May up to first week of June got delayed),” Galvez said during President Duterte’s pre-recorded briefing on COVID-19 response.

From May 31 to June 6, the average vaccination was 784,930. Prior to this, the country averaged more than one million vaccinations per week from May 24 to 30 and from May 17 to May 23.

Only two deliveries were accomplished by the government from the fourth week of May to the first week of June: the 50,000 doses of Sputnik V vaccines from Russia on May 30 and the one million doses of CoronaVac-Sinovac jabs from China on June 6.

However, Galvez remains optimistic that the vaccination figures will pick up once the vaccine deliveries intended for the month of June start arriving.

“[This is] expected to rebound this week with the impending deliveries of [11] million doses this June,” he said.

A total of 11.058 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines are expected to be delivered in the country this month.

These include 4.5 million doses of CoronaVac-Sinovac; one million doses of Sputnik V; 2.28 million of Pfizer through the COVAX facility; 250,000 doses of Moderna which were procured by the private sector; and 2.028 million doses of AstraZeneca through the COVAX.

Vaccination milestone

Meanwhile, Galvez bared that the government’s vaccination program is set to breach the six million-mark in terms of administered doses this week.

COVID-19 vaccination update as of June 6, 2021. (Screenshot from RTVM livestream)

As of June 6, a total of 5,965,651 doses were already given to frontline healthcare workers (A1), senior citizens (A2), persons with comorbidities (A3), and economic and government frontliners (A4).

A total of 4,386,467 Filipinos have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Meanwhile, 1,520,651 individuals are now considered fully protected from the disease after they received their second dose.

Priority sectors

According to data from the National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC), about 93.12 percent (1,398,710 out of 1.7 million) of frontline healthcare workers (A1) have already received their first dose. Meanwhile, 827,089 have been injected with their second dose.

As for senior citizens (A2), only 15.54 percent or 1,537,365 out of 9.8 million have received their first dose. A total of 369,387 have received their second dose.

At least 1,473,985 out of the five million (28.54 percent) persons with comorbidities (A3) have been inoculated with their first dose. Of this figure, 343,927 have taken their second dose.

Lastly, 12,259 out of the 13 million (0.096 percent) economic and government frontliners (A4) in the “National Capital Region (NCR)-plus 8” have received their first dose, while 4,559 have already been administered their second dose.

The vaccination rollout for the A4 priority group was officially launched on Monday, but a soft launch was held for the sector on Labor Day, May 1. This explains why there are A4 individuals who are now fully vaccinated.