Amid vaccine shortage, Galvez urges LGUs to prioritize second dose inoculation

Published July 7, 2021, 2:27 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. has encouraged all local government units (LGUs) to prioritize the administration of the second dose vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) within the next two weeks to address slippages in deliveries.

SORRY–Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. apologizes for the delayed deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines during President Duterte’s public address on July 6, 2021. (Screenshot courtesy of RTVM livestream)

Galvez said LGUs were already notified of the delays in the arrival of Sputnik V vaccines from Russia and the weekly delivery of Sinovac from China.

He said Advisory Number 62 from the National Vaccination Operaitons Center (NVOC), which he signed last July 4, was already sent to the local chief executives to inform them of the delays.

“We are encouraging all LGUs across the country to concentrate in ensuring their constituents are fully vaccinated and they have the full protection of the vaccines. We are seeing a disparity in our national vaccination report wherein out of the 11 million jab administered, only 2.8 million were fully vaccinated. This should be addressed by our implementing units,” said Galvez, who is also the chief implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19.

The advisory directed all implementing units, particularly in the National Capital Region (NCR) plus 8 — Metro Cebu, Metro Davao, Bulacan, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Pampanga, and Rizal — to focus on completely vaccinating those who have received the first shot of Sinovac vaccines until the supply for the vaccine brand becomes stable.

Three million doses of Sinovac jabs were supposed to arrive in the first week of July but this was moved to July 18. These shots were supposed to be used for the first dose inoculation in priority areas, particularly in Visayas and Mindanao where cases are rising.

Further, the delivery of 170,000 doses of Sputnik V on Wednesday night, July 7, was also rescheduled “to a later date” due to logistical issues. These vaccines would be used as a second dose by LGUs that were given supply with the Russian vaccines that arrived last June 11.

With the delay in the delivery of vaccines, some LGUs in the National Capital Region (NCR) and other provinces have been complaining that their respective schedules for the immunization program are being hampered.

Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso had said that they were already using the vaccines procured by the city government since the national government has yet to deliver a fresh supply of jabs.

As of July 5, a total of 11.9 million doses of vaccines have already been administered in the country. The vaccine supply stands at 17,455,470 doses.