Around 1,500 barangays in the Philippines have been identified as the focus of the vaccination against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as the national governments started the inoculation of economic frontliners, or those under the A4 classification.
This developed as one million doses of Sinovac arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 as of 7 a.m. on Thursday, June 10, the first batch of the the more than 3.3 million doses that are expected to arrive.
Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., National Task Force against COVID-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar, said the 1,500 barangays across the country have been assessed as the ‘center of gravity’ of the COVID-19 pandemic based on the data of the Department of Health.
“This is in response to President Duterte’s directive to prioritize areas with a spike in COVID-19 cases, we’re increasing the vaccine administration capacity of these areas,” Galvez explained.
” Areas which have been identified as the most vulnerable to COVID-19 surges will also be given priority by the government in the vaccine deployment,” he added.
A total of 3,379,160 vaccines from Pfizer (2,279,160 doses), Sinovac (1 million doses) and Sputnik V (100,000 doses) are expected to arrive starting Thursday, June 10.
The delivery of 2.2 million Pfizer vaccines and one million Sinovac doses is the biggest single day vaccine delivery so far.
Galvez also committed to the immediate delivery of the vaccines to the LGUs which are in dire need of them. He added that vaccine manufacturers have committed to ship out a steady supply of larger vaccine doses to the Philippines.
More than 11 million anti-COVID doses are expected to arrive in June, while around 11 million doses will be delivered in July. About 17 million doses will be shipped to the country by August.
“Now that we’re assured with a steady supply of vaccines, our vaccine deployment is also expected to normalize,” he said.
Galvez noted that while the vaccination of health workers, senior citizens and persons with comorbidities remain the top priority in the vaccine program, more individuals under the A-4 category are anticipated to be inoculated starting Monday next week.
Galvez estimated that by September or October, the full inoculation of the A-4 priority group will be completed. By the fourth quarter, he said the government aims to vaccinate 30 million young Filipinos, adding that more funds are needed to cover this sector.
“Experts said that all populations should be fully vaccinated. We can’t open schools if we don’t vaccinate our students,” Galvez said.
He said the IATF is also preparing for the transition of the vaccination program from 2021 to 2022, in which the proposed additional funding request is also expected to cover.